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Why there's no end in sight for 'locked in' Trubisky originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
There's a very real chance that the Mitch Trubisky era comes to a close on Sunday afternoon. Playing some of the best football of his four-year career – and breathing new life into an anemic Bears offense in the process – may not matter a whole lot when the NFC's best team, led by the MVP frontrunner, shows up to Soldier Field with home field advantage and a first-round bye on the line. No one at Halas Hall is going to have a tough time getting up for a walk-off (walk-in?) game against Green Bay, but it's not hard to see why this game may hold some additional weight for the Bears' QB.
"It means a lot," Trubisky said on Wednesday afternoon. "This is what we worked for, and no matter what happened throughout the course of this year, we always know there are going to be ups and downs – some very high and some very low – which we’ve experienced this season. And I’ve been there myself personally. But just to know that you can come out of that and there’s always going to be brighter days, you’ve just got to keep working and stay in the moment and that’s what we’re trying to do this week."
Admittedly, Trubisky's future in Chicago rests on better footing than it did a month ago. Since he took over for Nick Foles in Week 12 – against Green Bay, coincidentally enough – he's thrown for 1,243 yards with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions. His numbers have been modest relative to what's expected out of starting QBs in 2020, but he's undeniably playing better and, most importantly, the Bears are winning. The 'resurgence' has also reportedly caught the eye of some within the Bears' front office, who may be warming up to the idea of bringing him back in 2021. It's a far cry from where things stood on that September afternoon in Atlanta.
"I think he’s handled it extremely well," Allen Robinson said. "I know from my own personal experience, when you go through things like that and you look back at it, you get a lot more out of yourself ... How you handle adversity through a season I think helps you in the future. I think he’ll look back at it and say it made him a better player in some form or fashion.”
For all the talk of Trubisky saving his job over the last month, one very simple fact remains: whenever the season ends, his contract is up. The Bears have played as well as anyone in December, and all that stands between them and another playoff-missing, 8-8 season is Aaron Rodgers and a Rams backup quarterback who's never played a regular season game in his life. That'd mean one playoff appearance in six years for Ryan Pace, whose job security seems far weaker than Matt Nagy's at this point. Nagy's never been particularly subtle regarding his preferred QB setup; pair him (at least for one season) with a GM who's not personally invested in Trubisky's improvement, and suddenly a return doesn't feel as imminent. Fair or not, Trubisky may be playing for more than one person's future this weekend.
"I think everything I’ve experienced this season has just made me stronger and a better person and player," Trubisky said. "Just what I’ve had to deal with and everything we’ve had to overcome as a team ... now we have a great opportunity in front of us."
And if this really is the end?
"I won’t be thinking about that," he added. "I’ll be locked in and ready to go for the game. I’m excited about that opportunity.”