LAKE FOREST, Ill. — When quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and wide receiver Allen Robinson face the Green Bay Packers on Sunday at Soldier Field, it could be the last time they wear a Chicago Bears uniform.
It’s also going to be one of the last things on their minds as they focus on trying to earn an NFC wild-card playoff berth.
“I won’t be thinking about that, no,” Trubisky said. “I’ll be locked in and ready to go for the game. I’m excited about that opportunity.”
Trubisky has led a three-game winning streak against three struggling teams during his return from a Week 3 benching, while Robinson last week hit the 100-reception mark for the first time in his career.
Both are scheduled to be free agents after this season, and for Trubisky it’s been a tumultuous four years in Chicago.
Robinson hasn’t wanted to talk about his future since early in the season when he pulled mention of the Bears from his social media pages as contract talks stalled, before putting them back.
“I think everything I’ve experienced this season has just made me stronger and a better person and player,” Trubisky said. “Just what I’ve had to deal with and everything we’ve had to overcome as a team, to just see where we’re at now I think it gives you confidence going into it.”
With his fifth-year contract option already declined, Trubisky returned from his benching in Week 3 against Atlanta to face the Packers Nov. 29 and the result was a 41-25 loss at Lambeau Field. They trailed 41-10 in the second half, but the Bears say they saw their offence starting to come together behind Trubisky and a revamped offensive line.
The Bears have scored 30 or more points in four straight games for the first time since 1965, and Robinson has seen a different quarterback in Trubisky's return.
“I think he’s handled it extremely well,” Robinson said. “I even think for him as a player — I know from my own personal experience — when you go through things like that and you look back at it you get a lot more out of yourself.
“You look a little bit, not differently about yourself, but how you handle adversity through a season I think helps you in the future. I think he’ll look back at it and say it made him a better player in some form or fashion.”
Bears coach Matt Nagy said most people outside the Bears organization will never realize fully the lows Trubisky has been through this season, along with the rest of their offence .
“For him to be able to persevere through that is certainly not easy but I think what it’s done, he’s been able to show his teammates that he’s a team-first guy,” Nagy said. “He didn’t complain when we went with Nick (Foles). All he did was stay locked in and he was a great teammate on the sideline for Nick.”
Even when Trubisky returned, the Bears lost. They were blown out by Green Bay and squandered a 10-point lead to Detroit in the closing minutes before the offence turned it around to start a three-game winning streak.
“He didn’t go the other way,” Nagy said. “He stayed positive. He stayed humble. He stayed aggressive. But now he’s playing at a high level and you know we just gotta keep it going.”
NOTES: Cornerback Buster Skrine remains in the NFL concussion protocol. He’s missed three straight games. ... Cornerback Jaylon Johnson remains day to day with a shoulder injury and missed Wednesday’s walkthrough practice. ... Defensive end Akiem Hicks was absent from practice because of illness while safety Deon Bush sat out with a foot injury.
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Gene Chamberlain, The Associated Press