Quarterback Mitch Trubisky got back on the field in the Bears’ 26-23 overtime loss Sunday to the Saints for his first action since being benched in Week 3.
It was a humble return for a player the Bears once hoped would be their franchise quarterback.
Perhaps inspired by the way the Saints use Taysom Hill, coach Matt Nagy used Trubisky in the wildcat formation in the first quarter. He ran left for three yards on first-and-10 from the Saints’ 35, and the Bears kicked a field goal three minutes later to tie the score 3-3.
Nagy’s creative spark might be a viable element of the offense, and it makes better use of Trubisky than having him stand on the sideline. While passing has been a struggle for him, his running ability always has been an asset.
Nagy said it has been on his mind since switching to Nick Foles, and he is considering expanding Trubisky’s new role.
‘‘It’s a weapon for us to be able to use his legs, then obviously be able to throw the ball, as well,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘That’s something that we’re looking at. Every game could be a little bit different, but it’s something that teams have to prepare for.’’
Trubisky has averaged 5.8 yards per rush in his career and ran for a career-high 421 yards and three touchdowns on 68 carries in 2018. He rushed eight times for 87 yards this season before the Bears replaced him with Foles.
Trubisky got the hook after an interception against the Falcons, and Foles rallied the Bears from a 26-10 deficit in the fourth quarter to win 30-26. Trubisky completed 59.3% of his passes, had six touchdowns against three interceptions and posted an 87.4 passer rating.
Even with his shortfalls as a thrower, Trubisky presents enough of a threat to pass that he could create uncertainty for a defense. The Bears, who were third-worst in the NFL at 3.8 yards per carry entering the game Sunday, need all the help they can get in the ground game.