<
>

John Fox: 'We don't have a plan' for QB when Jay Cutler returns

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears coach John Fox said on Monday he didn't have a plan for how to navigate the club's delicate quarterback situation when Jay Cutler is cleared to return from a thumb injury.

"We don't have a plan," Fox said. "Right now we've got two guys healthy in Matt Barkley and Brian Hoyer, and those are our quarterbacks right now. I think all our focus is there right now."

Hoyer took control of the offense late in Week 2 when Cutler exited the Bears' 29-14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles because of ligament damage in his right thumb. Cutler -- inactive for three consecutive games -- briefly returned to practice on a limited basis on Sept. 28 but since has been shut down. The Bears repeatedly have declined to put a timetable on Cutler's injury.

Prior to getting hurt, Cutler threw one touchdown and turned the ball over three times in seven quarters of action. The veteran quarterback did have a career-best 92.3 quarterback rating for the Bears last year under former offensive coordinator Adam Gase, now the head coach in Miami.

In Cutler's place, Hoyer has completed 100 of 140 pass attempts for 1,094 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions (108.5 passer rating) and has a lost fumble. The Bears had 522 total yards of offense in a 29-23 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, but they are 1-2 in games that Hoyer has started.

"I think we're managing it well," Fox said. "It kind of is what it is, and everybody on the team knows that Brian Hoyer is the quarterback right now and that's where all our focus is going. I think Jay understands that, too. Moving forward, I can't predict the future -- otherwise I'd be in a different line of work. But I think everybody's handling it professionally."

Fox said Cutler, who has not spoken publicly since the night he suffered the injury, is dealing with the situation the best he can.