The Chicago Bears, after winning the NFC North last season, all but tumbled entirely out of this season’s NFC playoff race Sunday night in Los Angeles, even before the calendar flips to December.

And with their present in such disarray, the Bears also raised questions about their future when Coach Matt Nagy sat down quarterback Mitchell Trubisky late in a 17-7 loss to the Rams.

The move likely will lead to further scrutiny of the team’s level of commitment to the beleaguered Trubisky, the second overall selection in the 2017 NFL draft who has failed to fulfill the promise of being chosen ahead of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Nagy said after the game that he pulled Trubisky in favor of backup Chase Daniel because Trubisky was plagued by a hip injury.

But the development comes amid recent speculation that the Bears could move on during the offseason from Trubisky as their starter and attempt to acquire Cam Newton if the former league MVP leaves the Carolina Panthers.

Trubisky said he injured his hip when he absorbed a second-quarter hit.

“I got evaluated at halftime, something in the hip region,” he said during his postgame news conference. “I was just trying to keep it loose in the second half and be able to make plays for my team. It just kept getting tighter and tighter in the hip region. I just couldn’t move around like I wanted to. I was just throwing with a lot of arm and I was trying to make plays down the field and fight through. I was just disappointed I couldn’t finish the game out.”

Trubisky said he wanted to finish the game but was told by Nagy on the sideline that he would not be permitted to do so.

“It was very difficult,” Trubisky said. “I really wasn’t saying much. They just decided, the shape I was in, I just couldn’t help the team the way I wanted to. And so it’s super disappointing. We’ve just got to see where it is, monitor it the next couple days and hopefully it doesn’t prevent me from [playing] next week. It just [stinks]. I wish I could just finish out with my guys. But they made a call that they felt was best for the team. You’ve got to support that and you’ve just got to be 100 percent to be out there with your team. I just couldn’t do that.”

Nagy said he’d told his assistant coaches to watch Trubisky closely for several offensive series before making the decision.

“It was probably two series before we actually did it, right in that area, just to keep an eye on him,” Nagy said at his postgame news conference. “We’re rolling with personnel and moving in and out. So I’m asking, too, for guys to keep an eye on him, coaches.”

There was no mention during the game that Trubisky was hurt. It was the latest dose of drama for Trubisky during a season in which he recently sought to have TVs turned off inside the team’s training facility to quiet the criticism about the Bears emanating from them.

The Bears gave a feeble offensive performance in L.A. and had their record tumble to 4-6. They’re stuck in third place in the NFC North, behind the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. Kicker Eddy Pineiro missed two field goal attempts Sunday. Trubisky threw a third-quarter touchdown pass but also threw an interception in a 24-for-43, 190-yard passing performance.

“It’s been challenging because these type of games, these close games, you want to come out on top,” Nagy said. “And we haven’t done that. I really look just in general, just offensively, I know that we have the pieces and everything, and we haven’t had that one game where it’s just been four quarters of just fireworks. It just hasn’t happened. So we as a team, this is where we’ll get truly tested.”

Nagy said he has not given up on his team, however.

“I have ultimate trust in our guys,” he said. “They’re fighters, and they care. We’re all in this for the right reasons. They work so hard. It’s tough. We’re going through one of those tough deals. And so we want to try to be better.”

The Rams weren’t all that much better but managed to improve to 6-4. The defending NFC champs trail the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West but at least have some hope in the wild-card chase.

Quarterback Jared Goff threw an interception and had only 18 passing attempts against the Bears. The Rams rebounded after committing turnovers on their first two possessions of the night, via a fumble lost by tailback Todd Gurley and an interception thrown by Goff. Gurley ran for 97 yards and a touchdown. Fellow running back Malcolm Brown added a fourth-quarter rushing touchdown to seal the outcome.

In-game updates

4th Quarter

Rams get TD, anyway: After having a touchdown negated by an illegal formation penalty earlier on the drive, the Rams got a touchdown anyway, and probably sealed the outcome. Running back Malcolm Brown scored on a five-yard run. (Rams 17, Bears 7 with 3:31 left in the 4th quarter)

Rams’ blunder costs them TD: The Rams seemingly put the game away with a 51-yard touchdown pass from Jared Goff to wide receiver Josh Reynolds. But the touchdown was negated by an illegal formation penalty on the Rams, who lined up incorrectly with two eligible receivers off the line of scrimmage to the left of left tackle Andrew Whitworth. (Rams 10, Bears 7 with 6:18 left in the 4th quarter)

3rd Quarter

Bears get back in game: The Bears certainly needed to regroup at halftime, and it appears that they did so. They put together a very nice drive to get back into the game in the third quarter. The Bears moved 80 yards, the final 14 of them on a touchdown pass from Mitchell Trubisky to running back Tarik Cohen. They even made the extra point. (Rams 10, Bears 7 with 7:10 left in the 3rd quarter)


L.A. leads after an ugly first half: The Rams and Bears were division winners last season. The Rams were a Super Bowl participant. Both teams began this season with expectations of being NFC heavyweights again. But they have struggled so far. And as they match up on this night in what amounts to a playoff elimination game, they are putting some ugly football on display.

The Rams lead, 10-0, at halftime despite committing turnovers on their first two possessions and getting only 89 first-half passing yards from quarterback Jared Goff on four-for-six passing. The Bears have been even worse. Kicker Eddy Pineiro missed two field goal attempts and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky threw an interception in a 12-for-24, 101-yard passing half. The Bears got nothing when the Rams began the game with tailback Todd Gurley losing a fumble on their opening play and Goff throwing an interception to finish their second drive.

After a scoreless first quarter that resembled, say, a Jets-Redskins matchup, the Rams managed 10 second-quarter points. Kicker Greg Zuerlein provided a field goal on a kick that went directly above an upright. Gurley had a one-yard touchdown run on the play after a 50-yard catch and run by wide receiver Cooper Kupp on which he fumbled the ball out of bounds just before reaching the goal line. Gurley had a productive half with 64 rushing yards and 30 receiving yards. (Rams 10, Bears 0 at halftime)

2nd Quarter

Rams get TD: The Rams added to their lead with a one-yard touchdown run by tailback Todd Gurley. That came on the play after Jared Goff connected with wide receiver Cooper Kupp for a 50-yard catch and run to the Chicago 1-yard line. Kupp originally was credited with a 51-yard touchdown. But he lost the football before reaching the goal line, and the Rams were given possession of the ball at the 1-yard after an instant replay review. If it had been ruled on the review that the ball had crossed the plane of the goal line before going out of bounds, the Bears would have been awarded possession with a touchback. (Rams 10, Bears 0 with 3:28 left in the 2nd quarter)

Trubisky throws pick: This game is about as ugly as it gets for two teams that were supposed to be very good when this season began. Mitch Trubisky threw a tipped-ball interception to Rams cornerback Troy Hill. Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller was called for offensive pass interference on the play for a push-off on Hill — and still didn’t make the catch. The football deflected off Miller’s hand, then went directly to Hill for the interception. (Rams 3, Bears 0 with 5:23 left in the 2nd quarter)

Rams take lead: L.A. moved in front with a 38-yard field goal by kicker Greg Zuerlein as Coach Sean McVay opted against a fourth-and-one try from the Chicago 20-yard line following a third-down scramble by Jared Goff. The football went directly over the left upright on Zuerlein’s kick and the field goal was correctly called good, according to NFL rules. The Rams are leaning heavily so far on tailback Todd Gurley, who has 57 rushing yards and 23 receiving yards. (Rams 3, Bears 0 with 11:31 left in the 2nd quarter)

1st Quarter

Bears miss another FG: Kicking misadventures for the Bears? No way. Eddy Pineiro, after missing wide left from 48 yards earlier in the game, missed wide right from 47 yards this time. That’s after the Rams extended the Bears’ drive by lining up offside on a Chicago punt. These two teams are providing vivid examples of why they’re not very good this season. (Bears 0, Rams 0 with 57 seconds left in the 1st quarter)

Goff throws pick: The Rams are sputtering on offense in the game’s early going. They’ve had two possessions and have committed two turnovers. Jared Goff threw an interception to Bears linebacker Roquan Smith to end a Los Angeles drive that reached the Chicago 27-yard line. (Bears 0, Rams 0 with 6:17 left in the 1st quarter)

Another wasted chance for Chicago: The Bears have had two possessions and have squandered two scoring opportunities. They turned the ball over on downs when Mitch Trubisky threw incomplete on a fourth-and-nine try from the L.A. 31-yard line, as Coach Matt Nagy opted against a 49-yard field goal try. Chicago had taken possession at the L.A. 46 after recovering a fumble lost by tailback Todd Gurley on the Rams’ opening offensive play. (Bears 0, Rams 0 with 9:09 left in the 1st quarter)

Bears miss FG: The Chicago offense got off to a decent start with a promising drive. Mitch Trubisky provided a pair of completions totaling 34 yards. But the drive stalled at the L.A. 30-yard line and kicker Eddy Pineiro sent a 48-yard field goal attempt wide left. (Bears 0, Rams 0 with 11:54 left in the 1st quarter)

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