Joniak's Journal: Wait Continues For Bears' Ailing QB Mitch Trubisky

November 29, 2018 - 4:13 pm
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By Jeff Joniak--

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (WBBM Newsradio) -- The Bears (8-3) continue preparing for their matchup against the Giants (3-8) on Sunday. Here are the observations and notes of the day.

First impression

Whatever is specifically ailing Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is enough to keep him from throwing at practice and therefore likely to prevent him from playing Sunday.

"I can’t get into specifics just because that’s the advice I’ve been given," Trubisky said Thursday. "I’m feeling good. I’m getting closer every single day, and I’m just trying to get back as soon as possible. When that decision is made by the people above and the trainers and docs and everything, then I’ll be ready to go."

It's difficult for Trubisky to sit and wait for his ailing shoulder to heal. 

"It is, yeah it is," he said. "I definitely want to be out there for my team, but in the meantime, I am just trying to help in every single way I can."

Honesty is the best policy right now for Trubisky. The truth about how the shoulder feels to the trainers and coaching staff and most importantly with himself is critical. There's no upside in rushing back from an injury believed to be anything but a long-term concern.

Second thought

Trust is big right now with the Bears. It started with coach Matt Nagy’s first team meeting in the spring. He's honest, up front, real and believable. That powerful concoction is growing deep roots in the locker room. What Nagy says, goes.

The players respond in kind, and they ultimately trust the process every day. The management of injuries is no exception.

"This is part of the plan for us," Nagy said. "We said we were going to take it day-by-day, step-by-step with him -- communicate -- and that was our plan for him." 

Leaning on the side of caution with receiver Allen Robinson and outside linebacker Khalil Mack during their respective injury situations is building confidence in the recovery process.

Third degree

Mobile quarterbacks are vulnerable to injury.Trubisky’s mobility weaponized the offense. It's a valuable dimension, particularly on third down, but the quarterback must be pragmatic about giving himself up.

"I just got to continue to work on my slides and make sure they are cleaner," Trubisky said.

His right shoulder injury occurred against Minnesota for multiple reasons, including the hit by Vikings safety Harrison Smith.

"It was just an awkward landing, and then I got hit and my arm got caught underneath me the wrong way," Trubisky said. "It was really just a freak play."

Those freak plays can be damaging, so improving how he ends his runs is significant.

"Nothing’s going to change when I get back," Trubisky said. "I’m going to continue to stay aggressive and play ball the way I know how. I think I’ve done a pretty good job."

Trubisky understands he needs to continue to take care of the football and also take care of himself.

Fourth-and-short

There's still a learning process going on between offensive coaches and players when it comes to understanding how to rev up the running game. Offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said it's a process.

"You know our double-teams haven’t been how we need them," he said. "That’s on us just as much as them of understanding what’s this player's weakness or strength versus this opponent, still working through those things. Putting guys into position to play with total confidence and speed and physicality and everything that goes into running when everybody in the stadium knows we need to run."

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

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