Mitch Trubisky is back.
After missing two games with a sprained shoulder, the Bears’ second-year quarterback had full participation in practice Friday and is expected to start in a marquee nationally televised game against the 11-1 Rams on Sunday night at Soldier Field.
And while the intention is for Trubisky to be a little more judicious about running and sliding and avoiding the kind of hits — both late and legal — that caused the injury, coach Matt Nagy made it clear he will not be holding anything back. He goes in with no trepidation.
“It’s complete excitement,” Nagy said. “There’s times within your play-calls or what you do schematically that you might pull back on certain things here or there. But when we decide to finally go with whoever in whatever position, then that’s it. We go. There’s no questioning. We go with it. For the most part we’re not pulling back in any regards.”
Trubisky’s availability highlighted yet another good week for the Bears health-wise. Safety Eddie Jackson did not practice Friday to rest a sore shin on the indoor turf at the Payton Center. He is listed as questionable but is expected to play against the Rams. “Nothing major there at all,” Nagy said. “It’s completely just the turf.”
Rookie defensive tackle Bilal Nichols (knee) had limited participation Friday and also is questionable. Reserve safety Deon Bush (hamstring) did not practice and is doubtful.
Trubisky has not played since finishing a 25-20 victory over the Vikings on Nov. 18 at Soldier Field. He suffered a sprained shoulder on a late hit by Vikings safety Harrison Smith after sliding awkwardly at the end of a four-yard run. The Bears beat the Lions 23-16 at Ford Field and lost to the Giants 30-27 in overtime at MetLife Stadium with Chase Daniel at quarterback.
But Trubisky proved to Nagy he’s ready to go, participating fully in practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
“He put together three really good days,” Nagy said. “I thought the velocity on his throws was good. His decision-making, just getting in and out of the huddle — that part was easy. The main thing was, seeing conditioning-wise, being able to see [whether] he can hold up with that and he did.”
It remains to be seen how well Trubisky will be able to handle a game-speed hit. All Nagy can do is advise Trubisky on not putting himself at any more risk than he has to.
“Decision-making-wise, whether there’s an injury or no injury we talk through that stuff,” Nagy said. “Down-and-distance; reaching the ball out; when do you sacrifice your body and your health versus not, and all that.”