LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears are not mathematically eliminated from postseason contention, but at 5-8 there is not much left for the Bears to play for with three games remaining.
Still, Bears coach Marc Trestman won’t be taking a look to see what the club has in backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen.
"Jay [Cutler] is our quarterback," Trestman said. "If he’s available to play, he’s going to play. Jimmy is continuing to work in the offense, and he practices. We certainly like having him on our football team, but as we get ready for New Orleans next week, Jay will get the reps and he’ll be playing."
Signed to a seven-year contract worth $126.7 million back in January, Cutler hasn’t given the Bears much return on investment, considering the quarterback currently leads the league in turnovers (21) and entered Thursday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys ranked 30th among 34 qualified signal callers in completion percentage (49.5) on throws deeper than 5 yards down the field.
Cutler passed for 341 yards and two touchdowns to go with a passer rating of 96.4 against the Cowboys, but the bulk of the quarterback’s production came in garbage time. The Bears trailed 35-7 to start the fourth quarter, with the Cowboys playing soft coverage to preserve their lead.
"I think we evaluate his performances game by game, and then when the season’s over, we evaluate the year," Trestman said. "So I don’t go into the statistical aspects of what he did this week or the next week. It’s how did he play yesterday, and how will he play next week? Really, that’s the only way we look at it from a week to week standpoint, make the corrections, go over what we did well, what we didn’t do well, and then move on."