It appears the debate over whether the Bears should go with Jay Cutler or Brian Hoyer under center has been settled, although not in the manner anybody would have hoped it would. Tracy Wolfson for CBS Sports reports that Hoyer sustained a broken arm during the second quarter of Chicago’s game against the Packers, putting the eight-year veteran out of commission for the foreseeable future.
The news is obviously terrible for Hoyer, who was in the midst of the best four-game run of his NFL career heading into Thursday night. The journeyman signal-caller entered Week 7 ranked seventh in the league with a 100.8 passer rating, completing 68.8 percent of his passes for 1,396 yards with 6 touchdowns and no interceptions. It hadn’t translated in wins for the Bears, who were 1-3 in Hoyer’s starts, but he was beginning to look liken their best option.
Now it seems Cutler is destined to wind up back in the driver’s seat. Fourth-year pro Matt Barkley replaced Hoyer on Thursday, and while it’s a little early to judge the situation, he’s never started in the NFL. Cutler is Cutler, but with 184 career starts, his body of work is difficult to deny.
Of course, that’s contingent on Cutler returning. As of Wednesday, he still wasn’t practicing.
And maybe it is too early to rule out Barkley. If the Bears beat the Packers, that could build some momentum for the former fourth-round draft pick’s cause.
Nonetheless, the job is likely to be Cutler’s sooner rather than later. The question at this point seems to be less will Cutler get his job back, but how long will Hoyer be out for and will it be his job to come back to? The former is unknown. The latter would likely depend on how Cutler played and where the Bears were in terms of record and, dare we say, playoff positioning.
Considering the fact that Chicago entered Thursday night with a 1-5 record though, that probably isn’t something that’s going to play into the decision either way.