Chicago Bears

How Mark Sanchez’s injury has affected Mitch Trubisky and Connor Shaw

How Mark Sanchez’s injury has affected Mitch Trubisky and Connor Shaw

Connor Shaw was about six hours into his drive to South Carolina on May 30 when Dowell Loggains called him, saying the Bears needed him back.

Shaw was waived that Tuesday morning to make room for wide receiver Victor Cruz, but a few hours later, Mark Sanchez suffered a knee injury that would sideline him until training camp. So the Bears needed another quarterback, and Shaw was the natural choice, even if he had just drove through Lexington, Ky. 

“I had a little bit of a hike back,” Shaw said. “But well worth the drive.”

With Sanchez out for the remainder of the Bears’ offseason program — including next week’s veteran minicamp — Shaw and Mitch Trubisky are receiving more reps, both in terms of number and significance. So Shaw will have a better opportunity to show coaches the same flashes he did last year, while Trubisky was handed the keys to the second-string offense this week. 

Running the second-string offense is an early opportunity for Trubisky to embrace the challenge of taking command of a unit. 

“Instead of the threes, I’m with the twos,” Trubisky said. “So it’s getting the reps, getting comfortable and whoever I’m with, whenever I’m in the huddle, it’s taking command and doing my job.”

While Sanchez may not practice again until late July, Trubisky praised the example set by the former New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys quarterback. 

“He’s a smart guy, he’s seen a lot of offenses,” Trubisky said. “So being around, having that playoff experience and knowing what it takes to get back there, he’s taught me a lot about how to carry yourself not just on the field but off the field as well. I like spending time with him.”

As for Shaw, he always figured a return to the Bears could be a possibility, but he didn’t expect it to happen halfway through his trip leaving Chicago. Shaw is the only quarterback on the Bears’ roster who was here last year, even though he suffered a season-ending injury last August. 

That knowledge has helped Shaw make a smooth return to Halas Hall, even if it came after a whirlwind 24 hours. 

“You’ve just got to refocus your mind,” Shaw said. “You’re got to get back into the routine of things and compete even if I were on a different squad. I’m very fortunate to be here, be a Chicago Bear. But you just go back to second nature when you start playing football.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: John Fox hasn't decided who will get first-team QB reps on Sunday

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: John Fox hasn't decided who will get first-team QB reps on Sunday

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Phil Rogers (MLB.com) and Anthony Herron (670 The Score) join Kap on the panel. 

John Fox hasn’t decided who will get reps with the first-team in Sunday’s all-important third preseason game? Could Mitch Trubisky get a look with the ones?

Javy Baez hustles and scores the winning run for the Cubs. Is his the most entertaining athlete in Chicago? Plus will Nicky Delmonico still be on the White Sox in a few years when they are ready to contend for the postseason?

Listen to the full epidsode here

For Mitch Trubisky and the Bears' QBs, things remain status quo...for now

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USA Today Sports Images

For Mitch Trubisky and the Bears' QBs, things remain status quo...for now

Is there a way for Mitch Trubisky to take first-team snaps in Sunday’s all-important preseason game No. 3 without slighting Mike Glennon?

“I think probably not,” coach John Fox said. “… We’ll evaluate that and see where that goes.”

That’s not a definite answer, but Fox also didn’t totally dodge the question posed to him after Monday’s practice at Halas Hall. And it doesn't mean the Bears won't necessarily still give Trubisky some first-team work. 

Fox, though, stressed earlier in his press conference that he and his coaching staff haven’t talked about what the plan will be for Glennon, Trubisky and Mark Sanchez Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. 

“We’re very, very early,” Fox said. “We’re not even into preparation for the Titans yet. We’ll meet on that. We’ll talk, and we’ll keep you guys posted.”

Trubisky, as expected and for the second consecutive game, was the third Bears’ quarterback to take the field Saturday night against Arizona, taking over for Sanchez after the veteran backup played one series. Whether or not Sanchez plays on Sunday is another question, but the 2,285 passes he’s attempted in his seven-year career (compared to 630 for Glennon and zero for Trubisky) mean the Bears feel comfortable cutting into his snaps to give more to Glennon and/or Trubisky. 

Testing Trubisky — who’s largely played with and faced third and fourth stringers — with running a first-team offense against first-team defense could provide an important evaluation in his development. Fox, though, has said that getting Trubisky reps, no matter with what team, is the most important thing the team can do for his growth during training camp. 

Trubisky was hit hard a few times against Arizona behind the Bears’ third-string offensive line and played mostly with undrafted rookie Joshua Rounds as his running back. While he made a couple of poor throws — Tanner Gentry’s offensive pass interference probably prevented an interception — he finished his night having completed six of eight passes for 60 yards with a touchdown. 

“I thought again he showed good toughness,” Fox said. “I think he took a couple shots. They did a couple things different we hadn’t seen, as far as (our) protection. But I thought he showed good accuracy, probably mainly a couple decisions that he’d probably change. But I thought all in all he did well.”