A backup quarterback since he entered the NFL with the Saints in 2010, Chase Daniel knows all about the uncertainty that comes with the job.
Daniel had not taken a snap in the Bears’ first three regular-season games. But every week he understands that he can be called upon at any time.
Maybe that’s why the 32-year-old appeared so calm and collected when starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky exited Sunday’s NFC North clash against the Vikings with a left-shoulder injury on the game’s opening possession.
“You never really know when it’s going to happen,” Daniel said. “I just wanted to go out there and just act as confident as possible because I felt confident.”
Daniel’s performance reflected that. He helped lead the Bears to a 16-6 win over Minnesota by completing 22 of 30 passes for 195 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and an impressive 101.4 passer rating.
“Our management did a great job with investing so much in a guy like Chase,” said cornerback Prince Amukamara, “A veteran who knows the offense and who’s definitely a starting quarterback in this league. We’re so grateful to have him.”
Coach Matt Nagy, who previously worked with Daniel with the Chiefs, said that he didn’t change how he called plays when Daniel replaced Trubisky.
“We just keep rolling,” Nagy said. “Zero changed, nothing, and that’s the beauty of having a guy like Chase. Chase and I, we go way back, and again, he’s like a coach out there. He was ready. He prepares himself every single day. So we’re very, very lucky to have Chase as our backup quarterback.”
Waiting game: Nagy said more would be known about the severity of Trubisky’s injury in the next 24-48 hours.
“I haven’t found out a whole lot other than it’s his shoulder,” the Bears coach said after Sunday’s win. “I’ll know more here probably the next day or two. Hopefully a day. We’ll see how all that goes, but it’s unfortunate.”
Personal matter: Inside linebacker Roquan Smith was a late scratch, deactivated Sunday with for undisclosed personal reasons. The second-year pro watched the game in street clothes from the Bears’ sideline.
Nagy declined to provide details, saying: “It’s completely a personal matter and I’m just going to completely leave it at that.”
Stepping up: Smith’s replacement, Nick Kwiatkoski, had an excellent game, leading the Bears with nine tackles and recording a strip/sack of quarterback Kirk Cousins.
“He’s a bruiser,” Amukamara said. “This game was perfect for him simply because it was just a great matchup. We knew that they were one of the top running offenses in the league and Nick just loves smashmouth football. Him and Danny [Trevathan] just love hitting people and that was the case today.”
Next men up: The Bears were down to their third right guard as Ted Larsen, the replacement for Kyle Long (hip), exited with a knee injury and was replaced by Rashaad Coward, normally a reserve tackle.
Nagy said that Coward, who was converted from defensive end to offensive tackle last season, hasn’t practiced much at guard this year.
“He did some last year, and I think that’s a benefit of Rashaad is that he’s kind of that swing guy,” Nagy said. “He can play a lot of different positions. This kid was playing defensive line two years ago.”
News and notes: The Bears have now won three straight over the Vikings for the first time since they won six in a row from 2009-12 … The Bears have won 16 of 19 home games versus Minnesota since 2001 … With Eddy Piñeiro making 3-of-3 field-goal attempts, he is now 8-of-9 in four regular-season games … Second-year receiver Javon Wims caught four passes for a career-high 56 yards, including a 37-yarder from Daniel that was the Bears’ longest play from scrimmage.