Bears quarterback Nick Foles won’t go on injured reserve after hurting his right hip and glute muscle when he was slammed to the ground late in Monday night’s 19-13 loss to the Vikings.
But that doesn’t mean he’ll start the next game.
Coach Matt Nagy said Tuesday the Bears’ self-scouting session during their bye week will evaluate the starting quarterback position.
Foles’ hip isn’t broken. The glute injury is both a strain and a bruise, Nagy said. But backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky is dealing with his own injury: a right shoulder issue that has kept him from practicing the last two weeks. If he gets comfortable throwing in the next week-and-a-half, Trubisky could provide a more compelling option than Foles, who is 2-5 as a starter and ranks 27th in the NFL with an 81 passer rating.
“When you lose four games in a row, it’s all on the table,” Nagy said Tuesday. “Everything’s out there. But the No. 1 thing with Nick and with Mitch that we are concerned about now is making sure their health is the No. 1 priority. And that’ll be significant here moving forward.”
If both can play, the Bears will be back where they started the season, choosing between two flawed quarterbacks.
If neither player recovers in time, third-stringer Tyler Bray — who, until the last drive Monday, had thrown one career pass — would be the choice to start Nov. 29 against the Packers at Lambeau Field. The Bears hope it won’t come to that.
Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor will call the plays against the Packers despite the offense posting 149 total yards, the worst in the Nagy era, and only 32 yards in the second half Monday. Nagy, who handed play-calling duties to Lazor last week, said it wouldn’t be right to “to give him one game, and this happens, and then all of a sudden you’re going back the other way.”
With 37 seconds remaining in the game against the Vikings, Foles was thrown down by defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo while throwing an incompletion. Foles writhed on the ground before being carted off.
“He landed on that thing pretty hard on that one,” Nagy said. “Nick’s a big guy — 250, 260 pounds. When that comes down, you get hit like that, that can be pretty painful. . . .
“When I was on the field I thought [the injury] was going to be a lot more significant — and you just never know. He’s been hit a few times . . . It’s a lot better than I thought.”
Foles will be “working through” the injury, said Nagy, who categorized him as “day-to-day.”
Foles’ injury — and ineffectiveness — could open the door for Trubisky to return, provided he’s healthy. Trubisky hurt his throwing shoulder Nov. 1 while running the ball on his only snap since Week 3. He saw a specialist in Los Angeles, who determined he did not need surgery. He hasn’t practiced since, though he has been at Halas Hall.
The Packers’ game always seemed to be the target for Trubisky to return. Had the Bears thought he needed more time, they would have put him on injured reserve for a minimum of three weeks.
The starting job will be determined in the coaches’ meeting rooms this week — and in the training room over the next two.
“They’re both a little banged up,” Nagy said. “That’s the No. 1 thing that we have to look at. And what we’ll do, in complete honesty, is we’ll take this bye week here again and we will self-scout ourselves and we will see the wheres and the whys.
“And whatever we need to do, we will do — on a lot of different areas.”