GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Bears traded for quarterback Nick Foles — and committed to him on a three-year contract that’s essentially fully guaranteed — thinking his fluency in the offense and compatibility with the coaching staff could lift their offense out of its malaise.
It hasn’t happened. And now, after his hip injury and poor play opened the door for the team to give Mitch Trubisky a second look, it’s possible Foles will revert to being the backup.
The Bears made Foles inactive for their game Sunday at the Packers, using Trubisky as their starter and practice-squad quarterback Tyler Bray as his backup. Foles suffered a hip injury Nov. 16 against the Vikings and hasn’t practiced since.
Regardless of how Trubisky fared against the Packers, he might keep his spot next week against the lowly Lions. Foles’ health is a factor in that decision, and if he’s not ready to practice by Wednesday, the Bears probably will have to proceed as though he’ll be out another week.
But performance is part of the equation, too. While Foles led an epic comeback against the Falcons in Week 3, he has been underwhelming since taking over as the starter. His throwing accuracy and decision-making have been problematic, and he ranked 28th in the NFL in passer rating (81.0) and had the seventh-most interceptions (eight) despite having played just 7½ games.
The offense has struggled across the board this season, but Foles hasn’t done much to help. His poor play has been part of the Bears’ plunge toward the bottom of the league in -every important statistical category.
His performance also is alarming in the big picture, as he is the only quarterback under contract beyond this season. Trubisky is nearly certain to depart via free agency, and any quarterback the Bears draft next year probably won’t be ready to start immediately. Trading up to get one, by the way, was made tougher when they gave up a fourth-rounder to get Foles.
Foles, meanwhile, is set to carry a $6.7 million salary-cap hit next season and $10.7 million in 2022. He turns 32 at the end of this season. And nothing he has shown so far indicates that will be a good investment for the Bears.