Proof Mitchell Trubisky's Shoulder Injury Never Hurt His Play
The reported surgery to Mitchell Trubisky's left shoulder stirred up a narrative only a Bears fan could love and only someone with blind loyalty could believe.
The idea being trumpeted in some media and social media reports on Wednesday was Trubisky should be a better quarterback now because the shoulder injury was hindering his play throughout the 2019 season.
Actually, his performance wasn't affected in any way by the injured left shoulder. The numbers verify this truth.
Trubisky suffered the injury in Week 4 against the Vikings on the first series of the game. About the only area where he was decidedly better before the injury was in completion percentage. It still wasn't by much, and percentages all tend to go down with more attempts. It happened in this case.
Trubisky finished his first three games completing 65.05%. When he returned for the final 11 games, he completed 62.71%. Of course, the threw it only 103 times in starts before the game when he was injured and 413 in the games after the injury, so his percentage naturally would have been lower.
In virtually every other way, Trubisky was worse as a passer before the injury than afterward.
Before the injury, Trubisky threw a touchdown on every 2.9% of his passes. After the injury he threw a TD every 3.4% of his passes. His interception percentage was the same before and after his injury, at 1.9%.
Trubisky had a better quarterback rating (83.4) after the injury than before the injury (81.3). His yards per attempt were an anemic 4.6 before the injury and improved to a still poor 6.2 yards an attempt after the injury.
Last year Trubisky's running game production declined sharply, less than half of what he had the previous season. It would seem to make sense that his running would be worse after an injury of that type, and that he would run less.
He actually ran more after the injury, averaging 3.9 attempts a game. Before the injury he ran it only five times in three games (1.67 a game). When he ran, he did average more for those five rushes, but the amount was negligible at 4.2 yards a carry to 4.0 a carry for his 43 runs afterward.
Whichever way you slice it, the injury to Trubisky's shoulder never affected his play and the surgery isn't going to improve anything.
If he's going to get better, it's going to have to come from inside and through sweat and effort, not the surgeon's knife.