Bears QB Mitch Trubisky better be ready, because his preseason is probably over
Mitch Trubisky better be ready, because it sure sounds like he’s done for the preseason.
Matt Nagy held him out of the Bears’ second exhibition game Friday at the Giants and he doesn’t see much value in sending him out there going forward. If he does play Trubisky against the Colts on Saturday, it’ll be brief.
But more than likely, Trubisky’s next live action will be the Sept. 5 opener against the Packers.
“We’ll see,” said Nagy, who sat all his starters and then some in the Giants game. “I mean, I think you guys can kind of see where we’re at with the team and with him. We’ll get feedback from coaches, from players and we’ll stick to our plan.”
A no-show in Indianapolis would mean the Trubisky sneak preview for 2019 has been limited to those three memorable snaps to open the Carolina game: handoff, handoff, handoff. Nagy said shortly after that he didn’t need to see Trubisky throw a single pass in the preseason.
The Bears still have their final tune-up Aug. 29 at home against the Titans, but even the most old-school coaches don’t bother playing anyone significant at that stage. Nagy might even give third-stringer Tyler Bray that entire game to avoid risking injury to backup quarterback Chase Daniel.
Nagy’s reasoning as it pertains to Trubisky’s schedule is twofold.
Firstly, he’s been steadfastly adamant that his starter is perfectly on track for a big season regardless of the offense struggling in training camp. Also, and this goes to a fundamental component of Nagy’s philosophy, he’d rather work any issues in the safer, more efficient environment of the practice field.
“It’s probably a little bit of both,” Nagy said. “We’re always trying to get as many quality reps as we can within our offense for him. Every play does matter, but Sept. 5 is pretty important.”
More important, for sure, than any dress rehearsal.
The argument in favor of playing out the preseason games is that players could just as easily get hurt in Week 2 of the regular season as they could this time of year. If it was just one game, maybe that’s valid. But taking into account the full 20-game slate that starts in early August, skipping the preseason altogether cuts the risk by 20 percent. That’s a big number—especially with a starting quarterback.
The Bears’ Super Bowl aspirations seem to swing on whether Trubisky can take a substantive step forward after a good-not-great first season in Nagy’s offense. They can’t afford for to be merely average, let alone absent.