Matt Nagy Defends Choice to Sit Mitchell Trubisky, Starters for Preseason Game

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2018

Chicago Bears' Mitchell Trubisky warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy has a perfectly sensible reason for keeping Mitchell Trubisky and the rest of his starters on the bench for Saturday's 27-20 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Nagy is confident—despite one more week remaining in the preseason—his first string is ready for the Week 1 opener Sept. 9 against the Green Bay Packers, per ESPN.com's Nick Friedell:

"I hear it, but I don't believe it right now in regards to where we're at. We're at almost 2,000 snaps right now in practice. Team snaps and OTAs 'til now we're at 2,000 snaps. And so for somebody to tell me that 25 to 30 reps [in a preseason game] is going to go ahead and make him a better player Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 is ... it's not going to happen. This offense does take time; it doesn't mean that for him he can't be successful, but 25 to 30 plays regardless of just Mitch, we've had a lot of reps, and we get quality reps in practice. I understand it."

The Ringer's Michael Lombardi didn't agree with Nagy's decision:

Others, however, were more receptive to Nagy's line of thinking:

The Bears opened their 2018 preseason Aug. 2 in a 17-16 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens in the Hall of Fame Game. While Trubisky and a number of starters were rested for then as well, they had an extra week of training camp in preparation for the game.

Chicago is working a number of new players into the offense. The Bears signed Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Trey Burton and used a second-round pick on Anthony Miller.

Because of that, one could argue Trubisky needs as much preseason action within reason to build a rapport with his receivers and tight ends.

As Nagy laid out, though, Trubisky has had numerous reps on the practice field. And while preseason action presents different challenges than players see in practice, it still doesn't come that close to resembling a regular-season game.

The risks are the same, something to which the Bears can attest. Cameron Meredith suffered a season-ending ACL injury in their third preseason game last year, and Leonard Floyd's availability for Week 1 is in doubt after he underwent hand surgery Aug. 19.

Trubisky's health—as well as that of his fellow starters—should be Nagy's top priority, and keeping them glued to the bench is the best way to ensure they're ready to go against Green Bay.

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