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Matt Nagy acknowledges injury could be end for QB Mitch Trubisky with Bears

Trubisky hurt his throwing shoulder on his lone play as wildcat quarterback in the Bears’ loss to the Saints on Sunday. It might speed up the timeline on his exit from the franchise that drafted him No. 2 overall.

Mitch Trubisky got injured on his lone play against the Saints.
Mitch Trubisky got injured on his lone play against the Saints.
Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini

As Mitch Trubisky undergoes further evaluation for a serious injury to his throwing shoulder, it is possible the beleaguered quarterback already has taken his final snap for the Bears.

Coach Matt Nagy didn’t rule that out.

If that’s the case, Trubisky’s run would end with a fizzle less than four years after general manager Ryan Pace traded up to draft him

No. 2 overall, ahead of stars Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.

Trubisky hadn’t played in more than a month after Nagy benched him in favor of Nick Foles, and he returned for one play out of the wildcat Sunday against the Saints. He ran for three yards and got hurt landing on his right arm.

He was in Los Angeles on Thursday to see orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache, and depending on the severity of the injury, he could go on injured reserve.

“He was out there getting a second opinion,” Nagy said. “We’ll be working through that. And that kind of goes hand in hand with knowing where we see him as far as the upcoming games and the season.

“I’m sure he’s got a lot going through his mind as to where he’s at, and that’s something we’ve got to definitely look into.”

The Bears are already preparing to proceed without him. Practice-squad quarterback Tyler Bray will be the backup Sunday against the Titans, and the team has workouts scheduled for free agents Jake Rudock and Kyle Sloter.

Given that his next opportunity will be somewhere else, it might be in Trubisky’s best interest to shut it down for the season and work toward being ready for 2021.

Whether his career with the Bears is already done or he returns as Foles’ backup, Trubisky’s fate was clear when Pace declined his fifth-year option, sending him to free agency at the end of this season.

In 44 starts for the Bears, Trubisky put up an 85.9 passer rating with 54 touchdown passes against 32 interceptions. He also rushed for 952 yards (5.7 per carry) and seven touchdowns.

The 2018 season was the high point for Trubisky, who set a franchise record with a 95.4 rating on the strength of 24 touchdown passes versus 12 interceptions and helped the Bears win the NFC North.

He declined in nearly every aspect last season and was near the bottom of the NFL in most categories. In the offseason, Nagy said Trubisky needed improvement on reading defenses and knowing the playbook.

When the Bears declined his option and traded for Foles, it roused Trubisky’s best effort and he won the starting job in the preseason. That was short-lived, though, after two dismal performances to open the season and an interception in the third game that led to a 26-10 deficit against the Falcons.

That was Nagy’s breaking point. He sent in Foles, who rallied the Bears to a 30-26 victory, and committed to him for the rest of the season.

Even in Trubisky’s return as a gadget player, Nagy hinted it was more to give future opponents something to worry about than a legitimate addition to the offense.

The Bears have been ready to move on from the worst draft mistake in their history. The only thing this injury changes is that Trubisky’s exit could come slightly earlier than expected.