Seeing Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky on the team’s injured list for Week 12 came as a shock to many yesterday. Trubisky injured his throwing shoulder late in the fourth quarter of the Bears’ victory over the Minnesota Vikings this past Sunday night.
With Chicago working on a short week of preparation for their Thanksgiving matchup against the Detroit Lions on Thursday, the Bears had to submit an injury list on Monday. On Chicago’s injury report for Week 12, Trubisky was listed as a DNP (did not participate) during the team’s practices for Monday and Tuesday.
Head coach Matt Nagy told the media that he is “cautiously optimistic” about the second-year quarterback’s status for Thursday afternoon. In the event that Nagy treats Trubisky’s injury the same way he did with the injuries to Khalil Mack and Allen Robinson II, then backup quarterback Chase Daniel will start in place of the 2017 first-round draft pick.
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In addition to Daniel potentially starting under center this week, this could also be a chance for running back Jordan Howard to finally have his breakout game for the 2018 season. Howard, who’s rushed for over 1,000 yards in his first two seasons in the NFL, has been an afterthought thus far in the Bears’ offense. Only twice this year has Howard carried the ball 20-plus times in a single game—he had 24 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals, and 22 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown versus the New York Jets.
In Week 10 against the Lions, the three-year veteran toted the rock just 11 times for 21 yards. Detroit has one of the worst run defenses in the league, currently ranked 24th surrendering an average of 125.0 rushing yards per game.
Howard, along with Tarik Cohen, could very well be the focal point of the Bears’ offense in Week 12, especially if Nagy opts to go with Trubisky at less than 100 percent. Many thought that Howard would have a much better game than he did against the Lions in Week 10. With Chicago’s defense playing at the level that they’re playing at, giving the running game a chance to get going against Detroit’s porous front seven wouldn’t be a bad idea, and could help revitalize Howard for the homestretch of the regular season.