Although Clausen has not played in a regular season contest since 2010, his rookie season, and was sidelined for all of 2013 with a shoulder injury that required surgery, his preseason performances with the second team offense were evident to oust Jordan Palmer in the backup quarterback competition.
In 2013, the Bears had the luxury of possessing a stellar backup quarterback in Josh McCown. McCown’s 13 to 1 touchdown to interception ratio led the Bears to a 3-2 record during his reign with the first team offense in Cutler’s absence. Exemplifying the responsibilities of a backup quarterback at the highest level, McCown earned himself an opportunity to start under center and a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers worth $10 million with incentives that could reach an additional $5 million pending his performance.
Entering his sixth year as a Chicago Bear, a multitude of injuries to Jay Cutler have plagued the second half season success of this team and have ultimately resulted in a showcase of stagnant backup quarterback play outside of McCown that severely affected the Bears’ postseason chances in one of the most difficult divisions in the NFL.
In a league with a desperate need for a backup quarterback that can efficiently take the reigns of the offense and omit turnovers while also making plays, the Monsters of Midway look to Jimmy Clausen to fill the void of Josh McCown.
The former Golden Domer signed with the Bears early in June and in three preseason games has put together a quality resume drawing the attention of Marc Trestman and the rest of the coaching staff. Clausen completed 24 of 27 passes for 280 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
Palmer, who was released by the Bears following Trestman’s depth chart decision, connected for 21 of 30 passes for 225 yards with one touchdown and one interception this preseason.
Palmer surged ahead of Clausen in the backup quarterback competition after leading the Bears on a game winning 86-yard drive that was capped off by a Sinorise Perry touchdown run with 50 seconds left on the clock as the Bears knocked off the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-19 in Week 2 of the preseason. In the third preseason game at Seattle, however, Palmer struggled to control the first team offense’s pace, which was evident by the inability to convert third downs while also drawing pre-snap penalties.
While neither quarterback has shined throughout the preseason, Trestman sees more potential in Jimmy Clausen who, at points of the preseason, demonstrated that he is not afraid to make plays by confidently throwing the ball down field. That all being said, there are still reputable quarterbacks in the free agent market that would offer the Bears a weathered arm and significantly more game experience if Cutler were to suffer another mid-season injury that sidelines him for no longer than a few weeks.