Josh McCown did everything in his power to keep the Bears’ starting quarterback job on Monday night, but it appears head coach Marc Trestman is going back to the norm this weekend.
Jay Cutler is finally healthy and has been medically cleared to return this weekend, and apparently that was all Trestman needed to make his decision. Trestman announced at his press conference on Thursday that Cutler would start for the Bears when they visit Cleveland on Sunday.
Cutler has been out while recovering from an ankle injury that he suffered in Week 10 against the Lions. That came just two weeks after injuring his groin in a loss to the Redskins. Cutler has finally healed from both injuries and will likely be the starter for the Bears the rest of this season, barring any other injuries.
McCown was spectacular in Cutler’s absence, leading the Bears to a 3-2 record in his five starts while completing 66 percent of his passes and tossing 13 touchdowns and just one interception. He also led Chicago to a 45-28 rout of the Cowboys on Monday night, throwing five touchdowns in the win.
Cutler, on the other hand, hasn’t enjoyed quite as much success leading the Bears’ offense this season. In eight starts before the four-game layoff, Cutler completed 63 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions. His connection with Brandon Marshall is already well established (the pair has connected for seven touchdowns), but Cutler will need to incorporate second-year standout Alshon Jeffery more in the passing game to keep the offensive production at its current standards.
The Bears are currently tied with the Detroit Lions atop the NFC North. They will visit the Browns and Eagles before finishing the regular season in Chicago against the Packers for what could be a division-deciding tilt.