Joniak: Arrow Pointing Up For Trubisky To Return

Mitchell Trubisky (left shoulder) was a full participant in practice Wednesday.

Jeff Joniak
October 16, 2019 - 5:23 pm
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (WBBM Newsradio) -- The Bears (3-2) continued their preparation Wednesday to host the Saints (5-1) on Sunday. Here are the news and notes of the day.

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-- Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky made it through a full practice Wednesday, enhancing his chances to start Sunday. Trubisky dislocated his left shoulder reaching for a fumbled ball in a win against the Vikings on Sept. 29. It was popped back in. It was painful. In order to start Sunday, he must a shoulder harness.  

-- Receiver Anthony Miller is the best man to seek advice from on the harness, as he has suffered from shoulder problems previously. He wore one in college at Memphis and did so again last season and for the first four-and-a-half games this season. "After I had dropped the ball in London, I cut it off," Miller said. "I couldn’t reach all the way. I ended up playing better after that." Miller also dropped a pass at the start of the third quarter against the Raiders in the game in London on Oct. 6.

-- Trubisky needs to adjust to wearing the harness, especially on shotgun snaps that may not be perfect. In other words, he needs an arc extension to reach for the ball. 

-- Trubisky is confident that he can pick up where he left off in the win over the Redskins on Sept. 23, when he played his best game of the season. That game elevated his confidence in the offense and his ability to execute within the framework of coach Matt Nagy’s scheme.

-- Nagy himself believes Trubisky’s arc of success will build off the game at Washington. "I felt that way in the Redskins game," Nagy said. "I felt that way the whole week going into Minnesota. I felt that way the few plays that we had before he got hurt. We just got to do it now, that’s all. We are at a point where it’s time to go out there and play and to execute -- all of us."

-- Miller is preparing for a bigger role in the offense. "I know something’s coming where I’m going to have to play a huge role, and I am going to be prepared," Miller said.

-- Miller feels better when fed the ball early in games. "It’s just the momentum for me," he said. "It feels like am I in the game. It feels like I am involved. If I get the ball, I am in a better groove."

-- For right now, Rashaad Coward is tracking toward starting at right guard in place of the injured Kyle Long. Ted Larsen remains limited with a sore knee. 

-- Receiver Taylor Gabriel (concussion) and defensive lineman Bilal Nichols (hand) practiced fully, so they're likely to return Sunday.

-- The Saints may not have star running back Alvin Kamara on Sunday, as he's dealing with a high ankle sprain.

-- Nagy is quite impressed with the Saints defense. "They’re pretty damn good," he said. "They get after you now. They’re salty. It’s evident on tape they don’t mess around. They’re tough."

-- A few Trubisky runs against could open up the Bears offense and get the Saints defense on its heels a bit. Even with a shoulder harness and the pain risk, Trubisky has the legs to create big plays. "Run as much as you can," Nagy said of his advice to Trubisky. "Just don’t take extra hits. His legs are a huge weapon for us. I’m an idiot if I take his legs away."

-- Saints coach Sean Payton has a high opinion of Trubisky. "You see a confident decision-maker," Payton said. "You see someone that I think is really athletic with his feet. He can beat you with extended plays, but he can also keep the ball and gain 12 yards. Certainly, his feel for the offense as you get into your second and third year, you can see that comfort level."

-- Payton was mum on on the health of future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees, who's healing after surgery to repair the thumb on his throwing hand. Teddy Bridgewater has protected the ball and adapted to different game plans in leading the Saints to a 4-0 mark in place of Brees.

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