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Nagy not yet ready to name starting QB


Mitchell Trubisky returned from a right shoulder injury to practice without restrictions Wednesday, while Nick Foles sat out the workout with a hip injury.

But that doesn't mean that coach Matt Nagy was ready to name Trubisky the Bears' starting quarterback for Sunday night's NFC North clash in Green Bay.

"We don't know that yet," Nagy said. "It's day-to-day right now with Nick. So with him not practicing, Mitch got all the reps today and I thought he did a good job. It was good to see him out there, and he looked good, and the tempo and the rhythm was good. But for Nick, that's going to strictly be a day-to-day thing right now for us. That's where that's at."

Foles was injured late in the Bears' most recent game, Nov. 16 against the Vikings. Trubisky sat out the last two contests after getting hurt on a 3-yard run on his only snap Nov. 1 versus the Saints. As Nagy has indicated multiple times since the Minnesota game, there are several factors in determining which quarterback will start against the Packers, but it begins with their health status.

"Just like I was saying when we discussed this last week and the last several days," Nagy said, "there's a lot of factors involved in it right now—we're looking at all that—but for us, what we've got to do is we have to start with the availability. Otherwise, the other stuff doesn't matter." 

The "other stuff" presumably includes which quarterback provides the best chance to jump-start a struggling offense and help snap a four-game losing streak.

The Bears enter Week 12 ranked 31st in the NFL in scoring and total yards and 32nd in rushing yards and third-down efficiency after converting just 4-of-26 third-down opportunities in their last two games. 

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. 

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. 

Nagy, meanwhile, is extremely pleased with how Trubisky handled his demotion and the weeks that followed. 

"I'm very, very impressed with how he's grown week-to-week," Nagy said. "It wasn't easy by any means those first couple weeks. It was hard. But he kind of got to take a step back and see where he's at. If he is [starting Sunday night], I have all the confidence in the world in him."

Since Trubisky lost his starting job, Nagy has seen the quarterback grow as a player and a person.

"In this sport, in this world, in this life, adversity strikes," Nagy said. "Sometimes, people take that and make it a big-time positive. At times, when you think it's the worst feeling in the world what you're going through, sometimes those moments are the best thing that ever happened to you. 

"I don't know if that's the case. If he ends up starting and he's our guy … I don't know what that final story will be for this game and moving forward. But I do know that what I've seen of Mitchell, the way that he's handled meetings, the way that he's handled practice in that role, I've seen a change in him—and for the good. It's a good feeling. It comforts you. It's exciting because you know how good of a kid he is."

Nagy expanded on why he feels that Trubisky has improved as a player since he last threw a pass in a game Sept. 27 in Atlanta. 

"After three weeks, you end up not being the starter and there's a lot of stuff that goes on; mentally, there's probably a lot of emotions that go through you: frustration, anger, disappointment, sadness," Nagy said. "You feel like you let people down. There's just a lot of things that go through your head. 

"But then, initially, you get through that first couple weeks and you get to kind of, almost, from a coaching perspective, you get to stand back and see a lot of things that you can't see when you're in the weeds. And my belief is that Mitchell has used these weeks to make himself a better overall NFL quarterback. And I don't know whenever and if ever he gets that chance, where and when he does. But I do believe in my heart of hearts that he has grown from this situation, and I believe that he will be a better player because of it."