Joniak: Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky Moving Through Hip Injury

Jeff Joniak
November 20, 2019 - 5:44 pm
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LAKE FOREST (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Jeff Joniak reports from Halas Hall, as the Bears prepare for their noon Sunday game against the New York Giants at Soldier Field.

Here are his latest observations:

--The right hip flexor injury that Mitch Trubisky suffered against the Rams is a day-to-day injury. “It’s above the hip,” Trubisky said. “It’s like getting a Charlie horse or a dead leg on the quad, except that it’s above the area. It just makes your whole body tight, running and then obviously throwing when you have to pull your right hip through. It just doesn’t feel comfortable.”

--Trubisky was a full participant in the first practice of the week, which means barring a setback he should resume his bid to turning the page on his frustrating season. “It’s really not complicated,” Trubisky said. “I feel like I’ve been progressing and got to keep doing so. I can’t let this thing hold me back in any way. Just continue to stay positive, work through this, go out on the field play with confidence, let it loose and just keep trying to get better and find ways to put points on the board for the offense and take pressure off our defense.”

--Head Coach Matt Nagy sees growth in Trubisky’s performances over the last couple of starts. “The last two weeks he has, without a doubt, gotten a lot better at the quarterback position,” Nagy said. “Decision-making, throws, where he’s at the last two weeks has been a lot better.”

--Trubisky agrees. “Yeah, I feel good, I feel confident in going out there and being able to do my job. We’re still just not clicking on some plays as an offense, and I think that’s holding us back. I feel that each week I am getting a little bit better.” 

--Scoring more points is the biggest issue. It starts with making more explosive plays. The Bears are not making them consistently and in some cases not at all.

--The lack of production at the tight end position is a season-long problem. The receivers are still not in total synch with Trubisky. Route running and point-of-attack runs require precision. It is not all on Trubisky.  It all needs to be cleaned up. 

--Princeton rookie Jesper Horsted is a converted college receiver who is about 15 pounds heavier right now as he moves from the practice squad to the active roster. The move is one anticipated for weeks. 

--Horsted owns impressive hands with a wingspan on a 6-3, 237-pound frame that accentuates range to secure the ball. Learning the difficult “move,” or “U,” tight end in Nagy’s scheme is a learning process. “You can really be put in any role in the offense, which is just amazing,” Horsted said. “It’s a spot you want to be in, but it comes with good knowledge of the playbook. It’s definitely been a struggle, but I feel pretty good where I am at with the playbook right now.” Horsted has been impressive in practices over the course of the season playing roles on the scout team preparing the Bears defense by replicating other tight ends in the league.

--Horsted admits to having some nerves as he anticipates his pro debut.

--Nagy is still behind kicker Eddy Pineiro. “He’s mad at himself,” Nagy said. “We know that. We just want him to know we have confidence in him.”

--Missing two kicks in a row as Pineiro did in Los Angeles is a red flag for Nagy, who said they are working through that process right now. Pineiro is not kicking much in games. Over the last six weeks, he is 4-of-8. He had no attempts in Week 5 in London against the Raiders, and none at Philadelphia in week nine and against Detroit in Week 10 at Soldier Field.

--Pineiro missed two of his season-high five attempts against the Chargers in Week 8 and now the two against the Chargers in what could be another example of a young player trying to do much. It is an issue Nagy raised Monday night on the "Bears Coaches' Show" on WBBM Newsradio. He suggests players may be trying to do too much to overcompensate for their lack of production offensively and a by-product of losing five out of six games.

--The Giants have permitted the second most quarterback hits in the league through 11 weeks of the season, while the defense has permitted an NFL-high twelve 40-plus yard pass plays. They are 30th in yards-per-completion. 

--It means the Bears defense will have an opportunity to get to rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, and it means the Bears' offense may be presented with opportunities to make big plays in the passing game.

--The Giants have allowed an NFL high 27-points in nine games, and at least 31 points in six games. The Bears' defense has permitted less than 17 points this season in seven games, but their record in those situations is only 4-and-3.

Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play announcer for the Bears broadcasts on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter @JeffJoniak.