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Trubisky to start for Bears against Packers

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Bears coach Matt Nagy made it official after practice Friday, announcing that Mitchell Trubisky will start at quarterback Sunday night in Green Bay.

Trubisky replaces Nick Foles, who was listed as doubtful on the injury report after missing practice all week due to a hip injury he sustained in the Bears' most recent game, a Nov. 16 Monday night loss to the Vikings.

Trubisky will start against the Packers for the first time since Week 3 in Atlanta, when he was benched in favor of Foles in the third quarter.

"It's a great opportunity for [Trubisky] to just go out and play quarterback and play it with really an appreciation for what he lost," Nagy said. "When something is taken away from you, how do people react? There are different people that might get angry and they might not have handled themselves well for the last seven, eight weeks and now they're not prepared.

"I feel like it is the opposite for him. He gets a chance to play. He gets a chance to be the starter. He's going to use the stuff that he's learned from and use it to help him make better plays on gameday."

Trubisky has recovered from the right-shoulder injury he suffered on a 3-yard rush Nov. 1 in a loss to the Saints. It was the only snap he's played since being removed from the Falcons game Sept. 27.

This season the 2017 first-round pick has completed 59.3 percent of his passes for 560 yards with six touchdowns, three interceptions and an 87.4 passer rating. He has also rushed for 90 yards on nine carries, with a long run of 45 yards. 

Trubisky hasn't expressed how excited he is to Nagy about reclaiming the starting job, but it's beyond obvious to the Bears coach.  

"I don't think he needs to say a whole lot," Nagy said. "I think he's an extremely competitive person that realizes what he's gone through and where he's at. He's worked hard to get back to this point so that if and when the opportunity does come, he doesn't need to say anything. He's showing it by his actions and even before this week. So now that he has an opportunity here, I think this kid is just excited to get back out there. And I don't want to make any predictions, but I like the way that he's practiced all week."

With the Bears (5-5) concentrating solely on trying to snap their four-game losing streak against the NFC North-leading Packers (7-3), Nagy declined to say whether Trubisky would remain the starter beyond Sunday night's contest.

"As far as next week or following weeks, it's hard for me to predict that right now just because I think the fairest thing for both guys is to just worry [about] and focus for Green Bay," Nagy said. "And I mean that. It's easy to try to figure out, 'OK, is this for the rest of the year or not?' But we really have to focus on Mitch as the starter for Green Bay and then who knows health-wise where Nick's at and then where Mitch is at. And then we'll play that course and play that decision next week when we get into that. 

"Right now we're excited. Mitch is ready; it's an opportunity for him. I know for Nick, with him being doubtful and him not being able to be out here at practice, it's frustrating. But that's a part of this game. He's been supportive with the other quarterbacks all week long, and now it's time to make that decision to go with it and worry about Green Bay and this big game that we have."

“It’s a great opportunity for him to just go out and play quarterback and play it with really an appreciation for what he lost.” Bears coach Matt Nagy on Mitchell Trubisky

Since replacing Trubisky against the Falcons, Foles has completed 65.0 percent of his passes for 1,852 yards with 10 TDs, eight interceptions and an 81.0 passer rating. Foles threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter in Atlanta to rally the Bears to an improbable 30-26 win. But in his seven subsequent starts, the offense has mustered just nine touchdowns and averaged 16.7 points without topping 24 points in a game. 

Despite the ongoing struggles on offense, Nagy said Friday that he didn't regret replacing Trubisky with Foles two months ago.

"At that point in time for that game, that felt like the right thing to do, and it ended up being the right thing to do for that game," Nagy said. "Moving forward with Nick, I have so much confidence in Nick, and I'm proud of the way he's come in. I know he's crushed right now with the frustration of all of us wanting to play better, and then to get hurt and where he's at, but he's a competitor and Nick truly cares. I don't by any means second-guess what we did. 

"That's where we're at right now and again, things happen for a reason in so many different ways. Ultimately, I'm really glad that Nick, big picture, is OK. I thought [his injury] was going to be a lot worse last weekend. That's a way to look at it glass half-full, but I don't look back and regret that."

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