Veteran Nick Foles is the new starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears, coach Matt Nagy announced Monday.
“He is [Foles] our starter goes on and on, ”Nagy said in a Zoom call.
Nagy also said on Monday that tests confirmed running back Tarik Cohen has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season.
Foles, 31, replaces 2017 runner-up Mitchell Trubisky, who Nagy benched in the third quarter with Chicago last Sunday by 16 points from the Atlanta Falcons. Foles responded by throwing three fourth-quarter touchdown passes, including the winning goal from 28 yards to Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller right after the two-minute warning in Chicago’s 30-26 win from behind.
The Bears (3-0) host the Indianapolis Colts (2-1) in the fourth week.
“We got up this morning and looked at the tape and finally decided to start Foles as a starter against Indianapolis,” Nagy said. “Both quarterbacks are aware of that. It’s never easy for us when you’re in these kinds of situations. I want to thank both guys in yesterday’s situation for supporting each other all this time, even though it was hard because Mitch was told Nick would come in and play, Mitch was just a fantastic supporter of Nick for the rest of the game to his credit.
Cohen suffered his punt return injury when Atlanta’s Brian Hill was pushed into the back of his right leg, causing his knee to flex. Cohen went to the ground and immediately grabbed his right knee. The 5-foot 6 all-purpose threat was unable to put any pressure on his right leg when the coaches helped him off the pitch.
He had two carries for 21 yards and three receptions for 20 yards before the injury. The Bears signed Cohen for a three-year extension earlier this month.
Foles also had touchdown passes for Allen Robinson II and Jimmy Graham in the win over Atlanta. He finished the game 16v29 for 188 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Foles had two additional touchdown passes overturned by the officials.
“I didn’t expect it today,” Foles said after the game. “Obviously today we went out and won as a team. I felt good out there. Not perfect. But I felt good.”
Trubisky went 13 of 22 for 128 yards, a touchdown and an interception (71.8 passer rating). The Bears were an ineffective 1 in 8 on the third down, with many of Trubisky’s downfield passes being off target. Trubisky toppled a fully open Miller on what would have been a touchdown completion before half-time.
“We just got lost,” Nagy said of Miller’s incompleteness. “Just like him [Mitch] he said after yesterday’s game, you have to complete that ball. “
Trubisky, who Chicago selected second overall in the 2017 NFL draft, ahead of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, led Chicago to a 2-0 start in 2020. He rallied the Bears against the Lions in week 1 when he fired three touchdowns in the fourth quarter passes to complete a 27-23 comeback win. Trubisky, 26, was largely ineffective for the first three quarters at Ford Field before the last heroics.
“The situation sucked, but it was just the flow of the game and how it went and the manager made the decision he felt was the best for the team,” said Trubisky of being benched. “I’m really happy for this team. They reacted and it was great to get a W, but it sucks to hear news like that.”
In 2018, Nagy’s first season as head coach, the Bears went 12-4 when Trubisky went for 3,223 yards and 24 touchdowns with 12 interceptions and rushed for 421 yards and three scores. Trubisky, while playing much of last season with a shoulder injury that required surgery in January, finished 28th in the NFL in Total QBR (39.4) and tied for 27th in touchdown passes ( 17), 21st in passing yards (3,138), 32nd in yards gained per pass attempt (6.1) and 28th in traditional quarterback rating (83.0) when the Bears finished 8-8.
Chicago traded for Foles – the Super Bowl LII MVP while he was with the Philadelphia Eagles – at the start of the new league year. The Bears later turned down Trubisky’s fifth year option and announced an open quarterback competition in training camp.