Bears QB Mitch Trubisky is hurting but is on track to start against Saints

The issue now is whether he can withstand a hit, and the Bears seem to be leaving that up to him.

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Mitch Trubisky had his best game of the season in Week 3, then went down six plays into the next game.

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Quarterback Mitch Trubisky will need a shoulder harness, and he’ll be in pain, but he wants to return Sunday.

He was back at practice this week after dislocating his left shoulder early against the Vikings and missing the game against the Raiders. Trubisky was a full participant Wednesday. The injury doesn’t seem to hinder his throws, so the issue of starting against the Saints comes down to whether he can take a hit.

“I’ve just gotta show the training staff and the coaches that my shoulder and everything is strong enough to be able to put me out there,” Trubisky said. “Hopefully, once I show everyone that I’m good to go in practice this week, they’ll let me roll and not look back.”

The Bears actually seem to be leaving it up to Trubisky.

Coach Matt Nagy is “cautiously optimistic” that Trubisky will play but isn’t assuming he will. He didn’t throw a pass until Monday, and there’s no guarantee he’ll make convincing progress by Sunday, so backup Chase Daniel will get significant snaps in practice.

“I feel good about it, but we’re preparing with both right now,” Nagy said. “The thing with Chase is that we know he’s been in this role before. If it ends up being him, then it’s the same mojo.

“We’re kind of doing a balancing act with that. We know we’ve got to evaluate where Mitch is at physically. We know where Chase is.”

One point Nagy repeatedly made is that he has no intention of scaling down what he asks Trubisky to do. If he plays, the Bears will use him to the fullest.

On Sunday, it will be three weeks since Trubisky landed on the inside of his shoulder while scrambling against Minnesota. It’s also the start of a crucial stretch of the schedule, and the Bears are desperately trying to pull out of their early-season malaise.

There was a hint that the offense might have been on the verge of a breakthrough shortly before Trubisky got hurt.

He completed 25 of 31 passes for 231 yards with three touchdown passes and one interception in a victory against the Redskins — admittedly one of the worst teams in the NFL — and seemed to be finding a groove. His 116.5 passer rating was the sixth-best of his career.

That momentum evaporated quickly, however. Trubisky went down six plays into the Vikings game, and the Bears remain near the bottom of the league in points (27th), total yards (30th), passing yards (30th) and team passer rating (23rd).

“You kinda felt like that was a turning point for me and this offense,” Trubisky said of the success against the Redskins. “It’s definitely frustrating, but . . . you’ve just gotta prepare mentally to go out there and do your job.”

The Bears scored a combined 19 points in their first two games as Trubisky completed 58.3 percent of his passes and had a 65 passer rating. Nagy has defended him throughout and pointed to other factors, such as the offensive line, but Trubisky knows he hasn’t been good enough.

“There were more flashes than anything,” Trubisky said. “The main thing we’ve got to do is definitely show consistency.”

Leveling out won’t be easy against the Saints, who are 11th in fewest points allowed (20.3) and eighth in sacks (18).

It’s also going to be a struggle for Trubisky to play through pain and jump back in after a long layoff. When he missed two games last season, he returned with arguably the worst performance of his career in a win against the Rams.

“There always is some pain tolerance involved — I mean, this is football,” Trubisky said. “There are some ways we simulate getting hit, either with the pads or going through certain drills with the trainers, to try to get you as ready as possible.”

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