Jay Cutler is coming back.
The former Chicago Bears starting quarterback will have his job back this week as he has been cleared to play after recovering from a thumb injury that has had him out since Week 2, coach John Fox announced to reporters Monday.
Former Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans starter Brian Hoyer had been filling in for Cutler and in the process had ignited a debate over who should be the starter going forward. Hoyer threw for at least 300 yards in each of his first four starts before he broke his arm in Thursday’s 26-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers that dropped the Bears to 1-6.
But now that Hoyer will be out for some time, the Bears, currently alone in last place in the NFC North, have to find a replacement who can give them a chance to win. Matt Barkley filled in for Hoyer against the Packers, but he isn’t near the option Cutler can be.
Cutler had a career year last season in his seventh as the Bears starting quarterback. In Fox’s first year as head coach, Cutler set career marks for yards per attempt and quarterback rating, although the Bears finished just 6-10.
He struggled in two games this season, throwing 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions in two losses before aggravating the thumb injury to the point where he couldn’t play. Hoyer didn’t throw an interception in five starts, although Chicago produced just one win in that span.
The Bears will host the Vikings next Monday night.