Matt Nagy expressed optimism that Mitchell Trubisky will start Sunday night's game against the Rams—and that was even before the quarterback was a full participant in Wednesday's practice.
"I feel strong that he will play, but I've got to see more," Nagy told reporters Wednesday before practice. "I feel good about it. I hope so. I'm anxious to get him out there and see him throw the ball around in practice with the guys, and then be able to evaluate him off that."
Trubisky has missed the Bears' last two games with a right shoulder injury he sustained Nov. 18 in a win over the Vikings. He resumed throwing last Friday in practice and threw again before last Sunday's overtime loss to the Giants at MetLife Stadium.
"His arrow is up right now," Nagy said. "I like that. I feel good about where he's at and I'm excited to see when we get out there today at practice exactly where he is at."
Trubisky said Wednesday that his arm feels "really good," he's "really close" to being 100 percent healthy and he expects to play Sunday night against the Rams.
"I do; I've just got to show coach that I can play," Trubisky said. "I'm feeling good about where I'm at. As long as I can show them that I can go out there every day and make all the throws and be the player that they know I am, I feel confident that I'll be able to go."
Trubisky hopes to show Nagy that he's 100 percent and "I'm just the same guy I was before, and even stronger from the treatment and exercises I've been doing. Just go out there and have a great week of practice and be as prepared as possible."
Starting the first 10 games of the season, Trubisky completed 65.4 percent of his passes for 2,469 yards with 20 touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 97.7 passer rating that ranks 15th in the NFL. He has also rushed for 363 yards and three TDs on 51 carries.
Asked if Trubisky would operate the No. 1 offense in practice, Nagy said: "We're going to get out and get started first and see where he's at. If he feels good and everything is right, then we'll go ahead and put him out there for sure.
"We're going to see how he feels today and hopefully like I've been saying that he feels good and we can get him out there. I don't know as far as the full-participation part. And as we go later on in practice, we'll test his pain tolerance and see where he's at."
Nagy knows that Trubisky desperately wanted to start the two games he missed.
"He's the same as Khalil [Mack] and A-Rob (Allen Robinson II) were; he wants to be out there, but he also understands that there's a lot that goes on with these decisions," Nagy said. "It's just too much like him to not want to be out there. That's who he is. He's a fighter. He doesn't care how hurt or injured he is. He wants to be there. So, I appreciate that. I like that about him. But we've got to protect him and make sure we're smart."
Sitting out games due to an injury for the first time in his first two NFL seasons wasn't easy for Trubisky.
"I just missed being out there," he said. "I need to be back out there with my guys. It made me even more motivated to get back out there and work even harder, do as much treatment as possible. I'm very motivated and excited to get back out there this week.
"The bottom line for me is I want to be out there playing with those guys, being out there calling the shots, making the plays and just having fun."