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How Allen Robinson's Ankle Could Impact Decision on QB

Is there a correlation between the ankle injury to Allen Robinson and the decision Bears coaches must make on who plays quarterback against Detroit?

The one thing Bears coach Matt Nagy has always feared about preseason is injuries and not having players available at full strength due to a set back suffered by a player in a meaningless game.

Ironically, in the year he said he was embracing preseason games before they were all canceled, the Bears have injuries preventing them from properly preparing for the regular-season opener.

Akiem Hicks' injury would be devastating to the defense, as they found out last year. The fact he still has time to recover from a quad injury at least gives them hope he'll be ready for the start of the regular season.

There is little more to getting Hicks involved again and charging up the defensive front beyond inserting him into the lineup. He's been in this defensive system for years and knows how it works.

On the other side of the ball there are two far more relevant injuries plaguing the Bears.

The groin injury suffered by David Montgomery most likely will deprive them of their starting running back at least for the season opener. If Ian Rapoport's report saying it's 2-to-4 weeks for his recovery, this means best-case scenario is a Montgomery fresh off an injury, with no practice time could start. That's unlikely to occur.

At least the Bears know they will have Montgomery shortly after the opener and the injury should have no other ramifications.

The injury eating away at the heart of the Bears on offense is Allen Robinson's ankle.

The Bears haven't revealed any sort of timetable on his return other than Matt Nagy's comment about how Robinson and Hicks should be available for the opener. This is fine.

However, in Robinson's case it's not plug and play. 

Robinson's healthy and knowledge of the offense are not issues. The problem is the relationship between the quarterback and his No. 1 receiver, as well as the quarterback battle.

Robinson had three padded practices and part of another in full health to run down passes for Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky before his injury. He hasn't practiced since then.

In total, he's had 5 1/2 practices when he was running pass patterns for Foles because they had two non-padded practices prior to the Aug. 17 start to hitting. Those two practices count for little, but at least they were a start.

If Robinson returns healthy on Saturday for the Soldier Field practice, he'll have five more to be ready for the start of preparation for the Detroit Lions.  In fact, they may be starting this process already because they have closed off the practices to media for next week, which is what happens annually when they begin seriously preparing for the Week 1 opponent.

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If the chief connection for the Bears this season is to be Foles to Robinson, the Bears will come into the opener woefully unprepared. This would even be the case if Robinson practices before the start of game week.

Robinson and Foles obviously didn't have offseason work together, at Halas Hall or otherwise.

On the other hand, Mitchell Trubisky has had two seasons to throw to Robinson and spent much of the offseason throwing to him in voluntary work pass routes they did together.

It's easy to see where this is leading.

The possibility exists the injury to Robinson could be a factor in the decision over which quarterback will start.

Coaches have said there is a process they've come up with, but right now it's a process which doesn't include either passer throwing to the team's best target, a receiver who averaged almost 10 targets a game last year and caught 35% of their first-down passes.

In Trubisky's case, it would be a matter of resuming a relationship already established. It took him more than a season to build up this relationship so Robinson could catch 98 passes.

If it's Foles starting the opener, it could be a matter of trying to get these two in sync in practice on the Monday before the season opener.

Good luck with that.

Toss in the running game issues without their No. 1 running back, and it looks more and more like the Bears will be trying to win yet another game with defense only.

Could coaches allow this situation to enter into the final QB decision or not?

If they don't, it's possible they could be handicapping their offense to start the regular season.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven