In offering a detailed explanation as to why he pulled Trubisky for the Bears' final offensive series, Nagy emphasized that Trubisky's standing as the team's starter will be affected only by his health and not his performance.
Trubisky suffered the hip pointer while taking a sack with 39 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Nagy said. Rams defensive lineman Michael Brockers' knee hit Trubisky's hip, which was in the process of twisting to the ground as he was tackled.
Trubisky was evaluated by team trainers in the visiting locker room at halftime and cleared to return. From there, the pain for Trubisky increased as the game progressed. The Bears pulled Trubisky with 3:24 remaining, replacing him with backup quarterback Chase Daniel.
The Rams had just scored a touchdown to take a 17-7 lead with 3:31 left when Daniel entered. Nagy became aware of Trubisky's hip issue at halftime, he said.
"I knew about it," Nagy said. "I knew he had a hip deal. But it wasn’t significant enough to not play. But over time, the stiffness got to a point where he really wasn’t able to sit on the bleachers on the bench. That’s when I became aware of it and kept an eye on him for about a series and a half. Even before they scored the touchdown to go up 10, we had already made the decision that we were going to go with Chase.”
Nagy spoke with Trubisky on the Bears' sidelines late in the fourth quarter and informed him Daniel would be inserted. The emotional exchange was televised on NBC, and that coupled with the Bears PR staff not immediately reporting the injury details led to speculation for several minutes on the national broadcast that the team was benching Trubisky for his poor performance.
What was Nagy's message to Trubisky in that moment on the sideline?
"The thing that you love about Mitch is that he’s extremely tough," Nagy said. "I love that about him. But at the same time, he’s at a point where you could see that it was painful. So, what I had to do was I wanted him to know coming from me that he needs to be brutally honest with me in regards to his pain and where he’s at. And that’s exactly what it was.
"I said, ‘Listen, man. We appreciate your toughness. We appreciate you being as tough as you can possibly be and want to stay in the game. But I need to be able to make a decision because there’s a fine line of that pain or being injured to where it affects how you play or decisions that you make because of being injured.'
"He’s a tough, blue-collar kid. And he’s a fighter. But I wanted him to know that I fully support if he’s in pain and it hurts to play and too much to where it’s affecting our team, I need to make a decision. And that’s exactly what that was."
Trubisky tried to fight him on staying in the game, Nagy said, but he moved to Daniel because "sometimes, I have to protect (Trubisky) from himself." Trubisky walked with a noticeable limp to his right side after the game.
A tweet from Bears PR was the only announcement made at the Los Angeles Coliseum stating that Trubisky was dealing with a hip injury. In the postgame media session, a lack of clarity regarding the timeline of Trubisky's injury and what Nagy knew when created more controversy surrounding Trubisky's status as the Bears' starter.
Nagy made a point to clear that up Monday.
"It had zero to do with his play," Nagy said. "Zero."
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft, Trubisky has completed 62.4 percent of his passes for 1,480 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions this season. He has one season remaining in his rookie contract after 2019.
The Bears are still working through the extent of Trubisky's injury, and his status to play against the Giants on Sunday at Soldier Field was unclear as of Monday. The team is required to release its first injury report Wednesday.