The Bears have opened the door a crack for the possibility of Mitch Trubisky returning to action Sunday against the Saints.
The third-year quarterback was back practicing Monday at Halas Hall and, according to coach Matt Nagy, formally resumed throwing for the first time since injuring his left shoulder during the Bears' Sept. 29 win over the Vikings.
That's encouraging news for the starting quarterback. But Trubisky is still a ways off from getting full clearance to play Sunday, a decision Nagy will leave primarily in the hands of head trainer Andre Tucker and the rest of the team's medical staff.
"It's seeing exactly where he's at with the pain," Nagy said. "Just all of us collaborating to see where he is so we can make a decision as to which way we want to go for this week."
Receiver Taylor Gabriel, who practiced for the first time since suffering a concussion against the Redskins on Sept. 23, was optimistic after what he saw from Trubisky at practice Monday.
"I feel like he looked like himself today," Gabriel said. "But at the end of the day, man, that's not my decision."
Added Nagy: "I thought he looked good. But we'll see as the week goes exactly how he feels and where he's at."
Bears players will have a day off Tuesday and be back on the practice fields Wednesday in Lake Forest. With more formal preparations beginning midweek for the Saints game, that should be a telling day as far as how Trubisky is feeling and how many of the first-team practice reps he'll take.
Still recovering from a dislocated non-throwing shoulder, Trubisky will have to be honest about his pain threshold. And the Bears coaches, meanwhile, will have to measure whether they sense any physical or mental restrictions with Trubisky as he pushes to return to the lineup as soon as possible.
Nagy made it clear Monday that if and when Trubisky is given a green light to dive back into game action, he must be able to do so without restrictions.
"If he's able to play, then he plays," Nagy said. "You can't tell somebody to play a game and not get hit. You can't do it. If you're OK to play a game, then you're OK to get hit. It's pretty simple. For me it is."
That leaves the Bears in wait-and-see mode over the next few days with hopes that Trubisky can be ready for Sunday. At the very least, Trubisky's practice participation Monday was a positive step.
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