BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- In a reversal from last week, Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman announced on Tuesday that reserve Jimmy Clausen is slated to be the first quarterback off the bench to replace Jay Cutler, ahead of Jordan Palmer, when the Bears host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night.
“Right now, we’re going to have Jimmy relieve Jay,” Trestman said. “He’ll have the shot whenever Jay comes out of the game, whenever that is. But both of them will play.
Trestman said in July that Palmer would receive the first shot to be the No. 2 quarterback, but cautioned that nothing was official. The two quarterbacks have each had opportunities to lead the second-team offense at various points of camp over the past three weeks.
“They’re both making plays [in practice],” Trestman said. “They are both competing. I’ve told both of them that nothing is set in stone from last week. We grade them every day and we’re watching all the tape. We’re making the corrections with each of them, and it’s still a competition. They know it and we’re [dividing up the reps] that way.”
Both reserve quarterbacks performed admirably in the preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.
After Cutler guided the offense for 18 plays last Friday night, Palmer entered the game late in the first quarter and completed 8 of 11 passes for 104 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Clausen took over in the third quarter and proceeded to connect on 7 of 13 throws for 150 yards and a pair of touchdowns for a quarterback rating of 134.6.
“They’re both working hard,” Cutler said. “They are both learning the offense and trying to do exactly what the coaches want them to do. They’re getting out of the huddle and making their reads. They’ve got a few more preseason games so we’ll see how it works.”