Chicago will be without a quarterback Mitchell Trubisky when Bear's first place visited the Detroit Lions today.
The Bears reported late Monday that Trubisky suffered a right shoulder injury in a Sunday night 25-20 victory over Minnesota, which gave Chicago a 1/2-match lead over Viking in the NFC North. Detroit (4-6) is the last match, one half behind Green Bay (4-5-1).
Chase Daniel will get a start for Bear on Thursday. Daniel, 32, is a career reserve who began his career with New Orleans in 2010 and has completed 65.4 percent of his 78 passes with one goal and one interception.
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"I know that Chase, this is one of the reasons why he is here, if we are in a situation like this where we have to make a decision in one way or another," said bear head coach Matt Nagy. "This is why you have a man like Chase.
"You feel very comfortable with him. Chase understands; he's the oldest person on our team so he has experience."
Nagy still holds out hope that Trubisky can start, and in the end it will be a time-game decision.
"I say optimistically, but I can't make any promises," Nagy said. "I hope he knows. But this is a daily thing for us."
Trubisky suffered an injury when he was hit by Minnesota Harrison Smith on the left shoulder after surrendering by sliding, and at that moment his right shoulder pressed against the ground under his weight.
"It's not intentional," Nagy said. "Again, this is football. This is an illegal blow. You always want to see something from both sides and you hope it's not dangerous.
"But when it's a late blow, it can be a challenge for you. But that, once again, there are so many variables that go into it. Mitch is a tough kid."
Daniel has more urgency than usual in a week when Chicago doesn't really hold extensive formal training. They do Monday and Tuesday walkthroughs.
"This week is a little different just because of a short week, but I really haven't changed the way I prepare," Daniel said. "I prepare like a starter every week, so for me it's just another game."
Daniel hasn't had more than two throws in a season since he was with Kansas City in 2014. But he has extensive knowledge of the attack system after being in it since 2013-15, while Nagy is a midfielder coach with Kansas City.
"Nags and I went far, he was the coach of my position for three years in Kansas City, obviously, and we live close to my time," said Daniel. "Yes, we have great relationships, so when we have to trust each other quite well. So we know what each likes and we think we can roll over."
Trubisky is 23 of his 30 passes for a career as high as 355 yards with three passing goals in a 34-22 victory over Detroit on November 11, ending a three-game losing streak against Lions. The clubs have divided 16 Thanksgiving meetings with Detroit starting the tradition of playing on Thanksgiving in 1934, when Chicago won 19-16.
The Lions posted three consecutive defeats with a 20-19 victory over Carolina on Sunday – surviving an effort to convert two points with 1:07 remaining – and remain in the obligatory win mode.
Detroit must move forward, though, without rookie running back Kerryon Johnson (Team-high 641 meters rushed, three goals). Taking the second round from Auburn dislocated his left knee against the Panthers and week-to-week.
"I think we have good players, we have dynamic people, people who can make drama in a different way," said Lion's head coach, Matt Patricia. "And it's not a cookie cutter. Football isn't like that. When you have different players who are in the same position, it doesn't mean that they can do the same thing. You have to be able to adjust for it and do a good job in handle that, whatever the situation, whoever these people are. "
Detroit will try to patch together the running game with LeGarrett Blount, whose average career is 2.3 meters per carry and is in pace for his worst chaotic season since 2012. Theo Riddick and Zach Zenner is another choice.
The Lions have run their defensive defense, which ranked last in the NFL in the first half of the season, allowing an average of 142.5 yards. In the match against the Bears and Panthers in the last two weeks, they have given up a total of 110 yards on the ground.