LOS ANGELES — When it was clear the Bears would lose their last gasp for relevancy Sunday — a 17-7 loss to a deeply flawed Rams team — the Bears added injury to insult.
Backup quarterback Chase Daniel took the field with 3:31 to play and the Bears down 10. The team reported that starter Mitch Trubisky, whose final four possessions produced 35 yards and one first down on 12 plays, had a hip injury.
Afterward, both coach Matt Nagy and Trubisky himself detailed the injury. Trubisky said that he hurt his right hip on the last drive of the second quarter, received treatment at halftime and spent the second half trying to keep it loose. He told quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone about the injury, who later in the second half told Nagy to watch Trubisky’s hip. The head coach estimated he watched Trubisky for two drives before he pulled him after the Rams’ final score of the night.
“It’s definitely tough,” said Trubisky, who went 24-for-43 for 190 yards and a 65.1 passer rating. “You just want to be out there with your team. But if you’re not 100 percent, you can’t help the team. I’m not doing the team any favors if I’m not able to run around or throw the ball with accuracy because I’m throwing with all arm.
“So you just got to be smart … but I’m going to fight as long as I can to be out there with my guys. Hopefully it’s something that doesn’t prevent me from being out.”
If Trubisky ends up out, perhaps Sunday night’s game is remembered as the beginning of the end. The team recognized how essential it was to play Trubisky the rest of the season to try to get him on track. If he’s limited by the hip injury — and he’s been playing with a dislocated left shoulder in a harness, too — it might mark the end of Trubisky’s time as the unquestioned starter. By next season, the Bears figure to have competition.
Nagy said that Trubisky was opening his hips up awkwardly and throwing with all arm and no legs. He said he would have taken Trubisky out even if the game were tied.
Before the Bears’ final drive, Nagy spoke with Trubisky on the sideline and told him to be honest about how he felt.
“I don’t remember much, honestly,” Trubisky said. “I was super frustrated, disappointed.”
The Bears’ first drive of the second half might have been their best of the year. They marched 80 yards on 12 plays and scored when Trubisky found Tarik Cohen for a 14-yard touchdown pass. The Beas’ next four drives, though, featured three three-and-outs. They ran five plays on one of the drives, but that was because the Rams handed them a first down on a defensive holding call on third down. The Bears failed on two separate third-and-one plays during those four drives.
Trubisky said his hip felt worse and worse.
“I tried to keep it loose in the second half and make plays for my team,” he said. “It kept getting tighter and tighter in the hip region. I couldn’t move around like I wanted to. I was just throwing with a lot of arm.”
Nagy said he didn’t know how serious the injury was. With the Bears season all but lost, though, it might be the last piece of drama left.
“We’ll have to find out more …” Nagy said. “We’ll have to see how serious it is, No. 1. … I just appreciate his toughness.”
If he can’t go, the Bears will turn to Daniel — who quarterbacked the offense to six yards on seven plays Sunday.
“We’ve played with Chase before, so it’s a familiar face,” receiver Allen Robinson said. “It’s just our job as the receivers and supporting cast to — whoever’s under center — support those guys.”