Bears coach Matt Nagy delays naming Mitch Trubisky starting QB to be ‘fair’ to Nick Foles
It still looks like Trubisky will get another shot Sunday against the Packers, and Foles has not practiced this week. That tells us everything we need to know, regardless of whether Nagy says it.
Even with Bears coach Matt Nagy continuing to delay naming a starting quarterback, there’s little doubt it will be Mitch Trubisky against the Packers on Sunday.
Trubisky ran the offense again Thursday, with Nick Foles sitting out because of a hip injury. While Foles has been working on drop-backs and other mobility drills with the training staff, he hasn’t practiced since being knocked out of the game last week against the Vikings.
It’s obvious to everyone, especially the Packers, that the Bears expect to go with Trubisky.
‘‘They see the injury report,’’ offensive coordinator Bill Lazor said. ‘‘I’m not sitting in their staff rooms with them, but I’m sure [defensive coordinator Mike] Pettine is making his plans based on the best guess.
‘‘I don’t think anything is hidden. I don’t think there are any secrets. I think everybody understands who practiced and didn’t and what Mitch’s great abilities that he brings are.’’
Nagy’s reason for postponing what seems like an inevitable announcement appears to be out of respect for Foles. That is prudent, given that he might need him again this season and that Foles is under contract through 2022.
While Nagy has been upfront that he is weighing health along with Foles’ recent play, he appears to be mindful about how a performance-based benching might affect him. It’s cleaner and easier if Foles’ injury takes the decision out of Nagy’s hands.
‘‘We’re still kind of evaluating where [Foles] is at, and I think that’s the only fair thing,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘Mitch is obviously doing well health-wise. I feel good with where he’s at physically, with the way he’s throwing and all that stuff.’’
Trubisky had been out since injuring his right (throwing) shoulder on his lone play as wildcat quarterback Nov. 1 against the Saints. He appears to be full-go.
Nagy indicated he planned to make a final decision after practice Friday, when the Bears are required by the NFL to give an honest assessment of any injured player’s likelihood of playing. If the Bears do not rule out Foles, they would be required to announce whether he travels with the team Saturday.
If he is inactive, the Bears will proceed with Tyler Bray as the backup and might promote practice-squad quarterback Kyle Sloter as an emergency option.
Bray has thrown six passes in his career, and five of those were in the final minute against the Vikings. Sloter, who has yet to appear in an NFL game, has been with the team for a little more than two weeks.
Nagy pulled Trubisky after he threw an interception that led to the Bears falling behind 26-10 to the Falcons in Week 3 in Atlanta. Foles replaced him and threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to rally them to victory.
Since then, Foles has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. He is 28th in passer rating at 81.0, six points below where Trubisky was at when he lost his job.
Nagy has said, ‘‘It’s all on the table,’’ when it comes to the quarterbacks and dodged the question this week when asked whether a healthy Foles automatically would be his starter against the Packers.
His comments the last two days inched as close as he could to declaring Trubisky the starter without going all the way, but he held open the possibility of Foles changing his mind Friday.
‘‘Do you feel the pain and is there any aggravation and what’s the magnitude, for instance, when you’re dropping back and you plant?’’ Nagy said. ‘‘If you drop back and you plant, are you feeling it? If you go to throw to the left, right, what’s it feel like? Those are the things that they’re working through. . . . The better it gets, the more we’ll know.’’
But we know already, don’t we?