Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
What’s the latest with Mitchell Trubisky’s shoulder injury? Do you think that he’ll play when the Bears return from their bye against the Saints?
Evergreen Park, Illinois
Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is continuing to rehab the left-shoulder injury that knocked him out of the Vikings game. The bye week certainly came at a great time for him. The Bears are hopeful that Trubisky will be able to play against the Saints, but that has yet to be determined. Here’s what coach Matt Nagy had to say about that possibility Monday before the team returned from London: “I hope he’s back, but I don’t know that. It could be something that goes longer than that. I don’t know.” The Bears return to practice Monday, but they don’t have to release an injury report until Wednesday, so that’s when we’ll know more about Trubisky’s status. Trubisky traveled with the Bears to London, and although he was unable to play against the Raiders, Nagy said Monday: “He’s feeling good. I felt like the last couple days he’s been in a good place. He’s been a part of all the meetings, a part of practice mentally, because that’s just as important is staying involved mentally with your guys and with us.”
It’s very obvious to everyone that the Bears offensive line is having problems. Do you see Cody Whitehair and James Daniels switching back to the positions they played last season?
Bears coach Matt Nagy was asked Monday morning in London whether he was considering that move and he said: “No, I don’t think so. That’s not where we’re at.” So it appears that Cody Whitehair will remain at left guard and James Daniels will stay at center for now. But that doesn’t mean the move isn’t a possibility sometime down the road. Nagy has said on numerous occasions that the offensive line can perform better than it has. He also said that he would spend the bye week self-scouting and evaluating all of his players. So if he concludes after doing that research and consulting with offensive line coach Harry Hiestand that the Bears might be better off with Whitehair at center and Daniels at left guard, I’m sure that move would at least be considered.
When I replayed the running-into-the-punter penalty the Bears were assessed late in the Raiders game, I saw Kevin Pierre-Louis being blocked into the punter and thought it was a ticky-tack call. What did you think?
Raiders up-back Dallin Leavitt did make some contact with Kevin Pierre-Louis around the helmet and shoulder areas, but it’s debatable whether that caused Pierre-Louis to land underneath the punter and draw the costly penalty. I thought it was borderline. But the bottom line to me is what coach Matt Nagy said after the game and that was in that situation—with the Bears protecting a 21-17 lead and less than six minutes remaining in the game—“you’ve got to try to avoid [the punter] and give him space at all costs.”