With Mitch Trubisky listed as doubtful for Thursday’s game against the Detroit Lions, Chase Daniel will put his experience in the Bears’ offense to use.
The Chicago Bears had a slightly shorter turnaround that is typical heading into their Thanksgiving Day date with the Detroit Lions, since they played Sunday night.
So when quarterback Mitch Trubisky came out of that game against the Minnesota Vikings with a right shoulder issue, it became a real possibility Chase Daniel would start against the Lions.
On Wednesday, just before Trubisky was officially listed as doubtful, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported it was “more likely” Daniel would start against Detroit.
Daniel has forged a nice career for himself as a backup, with the New Orleans Saints (2010-12), the Kansas City Chiefs (2013-15), the Philadelphia Eagles (2016), back with the Saints (2017) and this year with the Bears.
But that also means he’s hardly played behind the likes of Drew Brees, Alex Smith and Carson Wentz, with two career regular-season starts and 78 regular-season pass attempts.
But Daniel is well-equipped to run the Bears’ offense. He initially got acquainted with Andy Reid’s offense with the Chiefs, then moved to similar systems under Reid disciples Doug Pederson (the Eagles in 2016) and Matt Nagy (this year with the Bears).
So Daniel should be able to capably run the offense, with plenty of mental reps over time. Chicago signing him to be Trubisky’s backup last offseason was surely influenced by Nagy, and no accident.
Detroit has the league’s 24th-ranked run defense (125 yards per game). So the Bears will surely bring a heavy dose of the running game, led by Jordan Howard with Tarik Cohen in a prominent change-of-pace role.
That probably would’ve been the case if Trubisky played, and with Daniel all but sure to start the run-oriented game plan becomes clear.
The Bears took some command of the NFC North with last Sunday night’s win over the Vikings, and it seems like Trubisky isn’t dealing with an injury that will bring a multi-game absence.
It might not be aesthetically pleasing on Thanksgiving Day, but Daniel can absolutely do enough to get the Bears to 8-3 with a fifth straight victory.