The biggest offseason to date in the young career of Bears QB Mitch Trubisky began with rehabilitation following surgery to repair the partially torn labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder, ESPN's Jeff Dickerson reported Wednesday.
Bears GM Ryan Pace left open the possibility at his season-ending news conference of Trubisky requiring surgery for the injury he suffered vs. the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 29 when the quarterback attempted to escape the pocket but was quickly collapsed on by star DE Danielle Hunter.
Trubisky, whose play declined precipitously this season following a 24-passing TD, 12-INT, 95.8-rated 2018 in his debut campaign in Matt Nagy's offense, missed only one start with the injury, which he suffered on the Bears' first possession of the Week 4 win over the rival Vikings. Coincidentally, Trubisky injured his right shoulder two seasons ago vs. the Vikings on a late hit by Pro Bowl S Harrison Smith and missed the following two games.
The average recovery period for Trubisky's procedure, which is considered minor, as noted by ESPN, is a couple months. The question yet to be answered is how major the effect it had on Trubisky's play last season, when among the starkest areas of decline was his rushing production (career-low 3.2 carries per game for an average of 12.9 yards, down from 4.9 and 30.1, respectively, two seasons ago).
Although Pace indicated on Dec. 31 that the Bears expect Trubisky to be their starter next season, he'll face competition likely from at least two newcomers in the QB corps and undoubtedly will be on a short leash.
The Bears must decide in early May whether to exercise their fifth-year option on Trubisky in 2021 at a price tag guaranteed north of $25 million, which is guaranteed for injury only. The Bears could theoretically exercise the option but cut Trubisky prior to the 2021 league year and not be on the hook for anything.
Pace infamously traded up to draft Trubisky with the second overall pick three years ago, when reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes and Pro Bowler Deshaun Watson remained on the board. What he does next at the position is the biggest question mark of the Bears offseason. Meantime, Trubisky will enter his fourth season coming off his first known surgery with the Bears.