CHICAGO -- Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky handed the ball off three times to Mike Davis in the preseason loss to the Panthers on Thursday, then spent the rest of the evening on the sideline.
It was a predictably limited performance knowing Bears coach Matt Nagy's priority in preseason games is keeping his starters healthy. Afterward, Nagy was asked if he was comfortable with Trubisky's next pass coming in a regular-season game.
"It's not up to me, and I definitely believe in the big picture and whatever Coach believes in," Trubisky said Tuesday. "Whether he wants me to go out there and do a couple handoffs and come out, I support that, or whether he wants me to go out there and throw 50 times in a preseason -- that's not going to happen -- but I'd support that as well. It's all about staying healthy and getting ready for the real thing. And it's also getting these other guys a lot of reps and just supporting Chase (Daniel) and Tyler (Bray), being in the game mentally and doing whatever (Nagy) asks us to do."
Two factors should help Trubisky's comfort level if he plays minimally in the preseason.
Trubisky played just 40 snaps in the preseason last year. He completed 11 of 18 passes for 94 yards, an interception and a touchdown. Thirty of those snaps came in the Bears' third of five preseason games, which aligns with Friday's game, the Bears' second of four games.
He said Tuesday that he trusted that process in 2018, and he felt it worked out. So he won't doubt it now.
Trubisky also thinks practicing against a top-shelf defense daily is preparing him for the season.
On Tuesday, second-year defensive lineman Bilal Nichols made a diving interception of a Trubisky pass. Nichols is far from the only teammate to push Trubisky over the last two weeks. Cornerback Prince Amukamara had at least one interception in three straight public practices in Bourbonnais.
"We're definitely getting challenged enough," Trubisky said. "That's not even a question, just going against our defense every day."
Of course, when Trubisky isn't playing an opposing team in a game, it can be difficult for outsiders to gauge the quarterback's progress as he enters his third season.