LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Fourth-year Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will return to the starting lineup when Chicago (5-5) faces the Green Bay Packers (7-3) on Sunday night, head coach Matt Nagy announced Friday.
“Right now, we’re excited. Mitch is ready,” Nagy said. “This is an opportunity for him.”
Veteran Nick Foles, who took over for Trubisky in Week 3, was unable to practice all week because of a hip injury he suffered near the end of Chicago’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 16. Foles officially is listed as doubtful for Sunday.
Nagy said that the plan is for Foles to travel to Green Bay but that all signs point to Tyler Bray being Trubisky’s backup Sunday night.
Trubisky’s health had until recently been a concern. The young quarterback spent several weeks nursing a right shoulder injury that occurred on a designed quarterback keeper — Trubisky’s lone snap since the benching — against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 1. Trubisky, who returned to practice Monday and took all the first-team quarterback reps throughout the week, reported that the shoulder “felt 100 percent, with no pain or soreness.”
At the time of the original quarterback change, Trubisky had thrown for 560 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions. The No. 2 pick in 2017, Trubisky guided Chicago to the postseason in 2018 but regressed badly last year, which prompted the Bears to trade for Foles in the offseason.
“More than anything, I was caught off guard [when I got benched],” Trubisky said Friday. “I think at the beginning of the season I was just starting to build some momentum, and then it kind of felt like a blind side, and then I had to embrace a new role.
“The first couple days, it sucked being in that role, but I was trying to just continue to keep perspective and think long term. I want to play in this league a long time, and if I want to do that, there are things that I just need to continue to get better at. At that point, I just changed my mindset to embrace practice. I was doing my job on the scout team, just trying to give the defense a good look, taking a lot of pride in that and preparing them for weeks, and the defense has been playing really, really well. And I feel like I was a part of that, being on the scout team and just leading those guys on scout team and giving them good looks.
“It was tough, it was an adjustment, but I was always hopeful for another opportunity.”
Chicago’s offense fared no better under Foles. The Bears, losers of four straight, enter Week 12 ranked 30th in yards per passing attempt (6.0) and total touchdowns (20) and tied for last in yards per rushing attempt (3.6). On the year, Foles passed for 1,852 yards, 10 touchdowns and 8 interceptions for a quarterback rating of 81.0. Nagy, however, declined to name Trubisky the starter beyond the weekend.
“As far as next week or following weeks, it’s hard for me to predict that right now, just because I think the fairest thing for both guys is to just worry and focus for Green Bay,” Nagy said. “And I mean that. … We really have to focus on Mitch as the starter for Green Bay.”
Trubisky, 26, is 1-4 lifetime versus the Packers. Trubisky is scheduled to be a free agent after the season after the Bears declined the quarterback’s fifth-year option.