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Bears moving closer to naming starting QB


It was déjà vu all over again for Bears quarterback news Thursday.

For the second straight day, Mitchell Trubisky practiced in full, Nick Foles remained sidelined with a hip injury and coach Matt Nagy wasn't yet ready to name a starter for Sunday night's NFC North battle in Green Bay.

Foles was injured late in the Bears' most recent game, Nov. 16 against the Vikings. Trubisky sat out the last two contests after hurting his right shoulder on a 3-yard run Nov. 1 versus the Saints.

"In regards to where Nick's at, he's still day-to-day," Nagy said. "We've had two days in a row now of Mitch getting all the reps. If it goes that direction, then we're going to be completely prepared for that. He put together another good day. That part I really like. I know he's feeling good. Nick's just got to keep continuing to see where he's at. I feel like he's slowly getting better right now, but he's obviously not at the point yet where he was able to practice, so that's where we're at right now."

Nagy did not discount the possibility of Foles returning to practice Friday and starting Sunday night against the Packers. If he's unable to, the Bears could name Trubisky the starter following practice Friday.

"We'll still keep an eye on that and see where he's at," Nagy said, "and then once we get through tomorrow, if we have a cleaner picture as to where that's at, I think we can move forward and say, 'Hey, let's go ahead with Mitch.' But we're still kind of evaluating where [Foles] is at, and I think that's the only fair thing is to be day-to-day right now for him. Mitch is obviously doing well health-wise. I feel good with where he's at physically, with the way he's throwing, all that stuff. Mentally, he's in a good place.

"I think once we get through tomorrow, we'll have a pretty clean picture as to feeling good as to where we're at for a final decision."

Trubisky started the first three contests of the season before being benched in favor of Foles in the second half of a Week 3 win in Atlanta. This season Trubisky has completed 59.3 percent of his passes for 560 yards with six touchdowns, three interceptions and an 87.4 passer rating.

Nagy has been impressed with the growth he's seen from Trubisky as a player and a person since the quarterback was demoted.

"I feel like there's a different focus and a different attitude and a different mindset," Nagy said. "And for me as a coach being able to see the significance of that, you appreciate that. I know who he is as a person, and as a player to see growth with him is what's exciting."

Trubisky's intensified focus is especially evident on the practice field.

"You just really feel like from one play to the next, there's just a different vibe to how he's handling whether it's a good play or a bad play or how it is in the huddle when he calls a play," Nagy said.

"I'm really impressed with the huddle mechanics; getting the play into the huddle, calling the play, breaking, seeing the defense, making the calls, doing whatever we need to do, you just feel that. There's a little bit of a change there. And I go back to yesterday, sometimes when you go through these things you go through and you get an opportunity to come in here and practice and do good things, you want to take advantage of it. And I feel like he's doing that right now."

In other injury news, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (hamstring) and left tackle Charles Leno Jr. (toe) did not practice Thursday.

Hicks, who was injured late in the third quarter against the Vikings, is considered day-to-day. It's unclear whether he will be able to play against the Packers.

"I feel like he's slowly getting better and better," Nagy said. "He has had this before and he has come back and so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I don't know if he will [be able to play] or will not. Obviously, I really hope that he is. But we have some guys right now who are in that position where there are going to be some game-time decisions where I'm not going to be able to have answer for you right now."

Leno injured his toe in Wednesday's practice.

"He was able to finish yesterday, but today woke up and was a little bit sore," Nagy said. "So we're just keeping an eye on that. That'll be day-to-day as well, as to where he's at physically. If he can't go, then it's going to be the next-man-up-type deal."

“I think once we get through tomorrow, we’ll have a pretty clean picture as to feeling good as to where we’re at for a final decision.” Bears coach Matt Nagy

Foles has connected on 65.0 percent of his passes for 1,852 yards with 10 TDs, eight interceptions and an 81.0 rating. In his seven starts, the Bears have scored just nine offensive touchdowns and averaged 16.7 points without topping 24 points in a game.

Foles has been working closely with head athletic trainer Andre Tucker and will continue to be monitored by the Bears.

"The drop-backs and the running and all that, he's doing all that," Nagy said. "The big thing for him is … when do you feel the pain and is there any aggravation and what's the magnitude, for instance, when you're dropping back and you plant, right? We might not think necessarily that you feel that, but if you drop back and you plant, are you feeling it? What kind of pain is it? If you go to throw to the left, right, what's it feel like?

"If you throw deep, if you do an RPO and then you've got a quick twitch and throw to the right, those are the things that they're kind of working through right now to feel where he's at and the magnitude of that. We're just talking through where that's at, and then it's day-to-day. The better it gets, the more we'll know."