Sign, sign everywhere a sign that Mitch Trubisky is feeling better and should be poised to play his best 2019 game, the week after he was removed early from Sunday night’s loss to the Rams with a right hip pointer.
The Bears’ much-maligned, third-year starting quarterback was removed from the injury report Friday, his third consecutive day fully practicing in preparation for Sunday’s visit from the 2-8 New York Giants. Starting right tackle Bobby Massie, who left Sunday night early with a back injury, also was removed from the report after a third consecutive full practice. Tight end Adam Shaheen (foot) and linebacker Danny Trevathan (elbow) are ruled out, and linebacker Isaiah Irving (quad) is listed as questionable.
It’s possible that 2017 second-round draft bust Shaheen and Trevathan, the vocal leader on defense who’s out of contract after the season and will be 30 when the new league year opens, have played their final games with the Bears. And although that possibility can’t be ruled out for Trubisky, he still likely will have more say over his future – beginning with a get-well opportunity against a Big Blue pass defense that permits an average of 259 yards a game, ranked 25th in the NFL.
Trubisky, who’s averaging a career-low 175.6 passing yards a game, has yet to throw this season for 259 yards, a number he exceeded five times last season and three times as a rookie. But his two best games this year have come against the two defenses that are closest to the Giants’ No. 28 rank in Football Outsiders’ pass DVOA – Washington (26th) and Detroit (24th).
And according to Bears QB2 Chase Daniel, Trubisky may have had his best Thursday practice of the past two seasons this week.
“I actually told him, and this is not – I wasn’t just trying to build his confidence up – but I told him I thought today he threw the ball as best as I’ve ever seen him on a Thursday,” Daniel said. “And that’s the facts. That’s 100 percent true, and I think our whole team felt that today. He had something else about him today. A pop to him. Whatever it may be. Not that he didn’t always have that. It just looked really good today, and it felt good. We didn’t have many balls on the ground today.”
Daniel’s comments – which coach Matt Nagy chuckled about Friday upon hearing – came one day after what was one of Trubisky’s more comfortable appearances in front of the media at Halas Hall this season.
“I’m just looking forward to trying to correct those things, get on the right foot with the team, start heading in a positive direction and make things better,” Trubisky said.
Trubisky having sustained success over the final six games remains a huge “if,” but the Giants should provide a soft landing after one of his toughest nights as a pro, followed by a short week before facing a Lions defense he’s owned under Nagy.
“He’s been pretty even keel,” Daniel said of Trubisky. “I think that through everything we’ve been through this year, that’s been pretty good. I think that’s personal growth on his part.
“Week in and week out, you’ve got to perform at a high level, in a market like this, regardless if you do good or you do bad. If you do good, you’re going to get too much praise. If you do bad, you’re going to get too much blame. That’s just how it is. That’s the quarterback and the head coach of an NFL team, especially in Chicago. And he realizes that. He understands that. He just cares so much, and he wants to make plays so bad that he feels like he let the team down when he doesn’t play up to his standard.”