Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky was a perfect 9-for-9 in the first quarter, but that was on handoffs, as he wasn't allowed to attempt a pass in the first quarter of Thursday night's preseason finale.
More good news: Trubisky, who operated from the shotgun at North Carolina, was mostly under center in the first quarter, and he handled every snap flawlessly, something he has struggled with at times in practice. By going conservative with Trubisky, the Bears also avoided any more talk of him replacing starter Mike Glennon.
Those 9 Bears runs netted 14 scintillating yards. Any die-hards in the sparse gathering at Soldier Field who came knowing they wouldn't see any starters but hoping to watch the Bears' phenom QB air it out left disappointed. The 25-0 loss to the 4-0 Cleveland Browns dropped the Bears' preseason record to 2-2.
The Bears announced the attendance at 40,788.
Trubisky didn't drop back until the first possession of the second quarter, but he wisely threw the ball away before he was hit, clearly the biggest concern for coaches and fans.
As a hedge against injuries and an indication of the game's lack of importance, more than 20 healthy Bears dressed but didn't play. Twenty-seven Browns didn't participate.
Trubisky's quick out to Deonte Thompson for 7 yards early in the second quarter was about as daring as the Bears' offense got with him in the game. He did provide some excitement when he scrambled for 1 yard on the next play and, as he sprinted for the safety of the sideline was shoved out of bounds by Browns linebacker Deon King, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Trubisky was relieved by Connor Shaw for the Bears' final possession of the first half, finishing with 2 completions on 4 attempts for 10 yards and a 56.2 passer rating.
Rookie tight end Adam Shaheen, the second-round draft pick from Ashland, dropped a perfectly thrown pass from Trubisky but finished with 3 catches for 19 yards.
The game did have some notable moments.
Bears inside linebackers Nick Kwiatkoski and Christian Jones stood out among the second- and third-stringers who started. Outside linebacker Lamarr Houston also made some splash plays, but his contract ($5.95 million base) might be too pricey for a backup.
Houston left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury, as did wide receiver Victor Cruz, who also is battling for a roster spot.
Kwiatkoski, a 2016 fourth-round draft pick out of West Virginia, started seven games as a rookie. He was thrown in when starters Danny Trevathan (knee) was hurt and Jerrell Freeman suspended.
With Trevathan's status for the regular-season opener still iffy, Kwiatkoski looked ready for prime time Thursday night. He had 2 sacks in the first half, while Jones added 6 tackles and also was efficient in pass defense.
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