LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Whether it's part of the Bears' grand plan or the result of dramatic improvement, rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky's development has accelerated.
Trubisky took snaps with the Bears' first string in practice recently and coach John Fox said the second pick of the 2017 draft will play with the starters to begin the second half of today's third preseason game.
"I would say I've shown them what I can do," Trubisky said. "I think I've progressed faster than they expected I would, but I've still got a long ways to go and I know that.
"But I think I've shown that I've earned these reps and I just need to continue to get better each day."
The third preseason game is usually a dress rehearsal for the season opener, and the Bears will play the first half at Tennessee with Mike Glennon at quarterback.
However, Glennon will not play into the second half, as the Bears have often done with the starter in the second half of the third preseason game. And Trubisky will play ahead of second-string quarterback Mark Sanchez with the starters.
"Right now, Mark Sanchez is still the backup but we've seen nine (NFL) years of Mark," Fox said. "We've not been able to see that with Mitch, and he needs that experience.
"And so we've kind of felt this all along, and we won't do it in the fourth game because our starters don't play much — if at all — in that game."
Fox continued to stress Glennon is the opening day starter, and the team's plan is to get a better read on Trubisky because he may not have many more opportunities to play.
Still, Trubisky's play has created a stir in Chicago.
In two preseason games, Trubisky is 24 of 33 for 226 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 111.4.
"Just to get a true evaluation; that's what we're trying to do and trying to do it at all positions, not just the quarterback position," Fox said. "That'd be the biggest reason."
For Glennon, the quarterback derby is a familiar one.
"I mean, deja vu," Glennon said. "Again, it's situations that I've been through before that I handled myself well in the past, and I'll continue to do that in this situation."
In Tampa, Glennon started until Jameis Winston was drafted. The Bears signed Glennon in free agency, then made a stunning draft-day trade to move up and take Trubisky with the second overall pick.
Glennon called Trubisky's situation out of his control.
"Outside of that, it just doesn't do you any good to worry about other things," Glennon said. "Just any of that. All I can do is prepare for Tennessee and treat it just like anything else."
The Bears have said since the selection of Trubisky that Glennon is their opening day starter.
"It was clear to me that nothing has changed as far as the depth chart," Glennon said. "Mitch is getting one rep (series) with the starters."
Glennon has struggled at times in his two preseason starts. He threw an interception in each game and is 15 for 26 for 109 yards and one touchdown.
Fox said the hope is Trubisky gets to play against Tennessee's starters when he enters the game.
Fox refused to go as far as saying Trubisky might have a chance to start as a rookie.
"I don't like doing hypotheticals," Fox said. "Right now Mike Glennon's the starter; he's going to start preseason Game 3, which is usually a pretty good indicator where you start the season."