CHICAGO — The Giants do not yet know for sure what they have at quarterback with Daniel Jones. But they have a pretty good idea and are awaiting confirmation.
The Bears thought they knew what they had at quarterback with Mitchell Trubisky. What they are learning this season is alarming, and if he is not the answer, heads will roll and the franchise will be set back, possibly for years to come.
It is the way the world turns at the most important position on the field. Either you have one or you are looking for one.
The Giants started the clock on Jones two games into his rookie year and are not going to disrupt the process even though on Sunday they take a six-game losing streak into Soldier Field. Jones does not look overwhelmed or confused or overmatched, so there will be no “time out’’ given to him the way an unruly toddler is removed from playtime for a few minutes.
“When you’re developing a young quarterback, yeah, there are bumps in the road,’’ coach Pat Shurmur said. “There are mistakes that happen that you’ve got to get cleaned up. I think each guy is different. Obviously you put a guy in and you’d like to have him help you win games. That’s the ideal world.’’
The Bears are not living in the ideal world. They traded up into the No. 2 position in the 2017 draft — with general manager Ryan Pace sending the 49ers four draft picks to move up one spot to land Trubisky, a one-year starter at North Carolina. It was a bold move, but fortune does not always favor the brave.
Last season, the Bears went 12-4 and Trubisky was viewed as a developing player. This season, the Bears are 4-6 and fans are growing restless, as Trubisky has not improved and actually looks to have regressed.
In last week’s 17-7 loss to the Rams, Bears coach Matt Nagy removed Trubisky from the game with 3:24 remaining, replacing him with journeyman backup Chase Daniels. It looked like a benching, but Nagy said “it had zero to do with his play’’ and a day later revealed Trubisky had a hip pointer. Trubisky had no problems in practice this past week and is expected to start against the Giants.
The Giants hope by the time Jones reaches year No. 3 he is much further along in his development. His most glaring deficiency is his failure to secure the ball (a league-high nine lost fumbles), and his best attributes thus far are a better-than-advertised arm and an unflappable disposition. He won his first two starts, but has experienced only losing in October and November. The first bye week of his NFL experience has come and gone, a brief time to reflect before the six-game stretch run to complete his rookie season.
“It’s an opportunity for the team, it’s an opportunity for me to keep improving,’’ Jones said. “I think we’re all approaching it in that way. Certainly, aiming on finishing strong.’’
Jones welcomes back his starting offensive tackles, Nate Solder and Mike Remmers, who missed the loss to the Jets to leave Jones with protectors who had never before taken an NFL snap at tackle. It also looks as if Jones will get to throw to Sterling Shepard, who is finally out of the concussion protocol. Shepard, after missing five consecutive games, could provide a huge spark.
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