Quarterback Matt Blanchard was waived/injured after he reached an injury settlement with the Bears, leaving the team at the 75-man roster limit.
Blanchard suffered a spiral fracture on the ring finger of his left (non-throwing) hand in the second preseason game. He had been the No. 3 quarterback but, after his injury, the Bears added veteran quarterbacks Trent Edwards and Jordan Palmer to compete for that spot.
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"I think everyone knows how we felt about Matt Blanchard when he was here," coach Marc Trestman said. "I really liked his progress."
Blanchard is free to sign with another team when the length of his injury settlement has expired, but he cannot re-sign with the Bears until after Week 10 and he cannot be added to the practice squad until then. That leaves a gap where another interested team could steal Blanchard, although the Bears seem interested in developing him for the future.
"Getting injured at all it's always frustrating," Blanchard said. "You just have to handle it with as much poise as possible. You have to keep your head up and move forward."
Blanchard helped Lake Zurich High School reach the Class 7A title game in 2006 and went 45-0 as a three-year starter at Wisconsin-Whitewater. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder spent last season on the Bears' practice squad after signing as an undrafted free agent. He completed 16 of 19 passes in the first two preseason games this year for 192 yards and an 86.8 passer rating.
Veteran quarterbacks Jordan Palmer and Trent Edwards are expected to split playing time Thursday night as they compete for a possible spot as the No. 3, although neither is guaranteed a spot on the 53-man roster.
Both veterans have had only about a week to learn the offense.
"They're both really smart guys and knowledgeable," coach Marc Trestman said. "They've practiced well, efficiently running the offense, and that's really what we want to see -- will they go out and take care of the football and sort of gain the confidence of the players and the coaches just by their demeanor on the field and the way they handle themselves. I expect that they're going to do well."
Rookie wide receiver Marquess Wilson should see his most extended playing time of the preseason Thursday night at Soldier Field in the finale against the Browns.
The seventh-round pick has 5 receptions for a team-best 96 yards.
"Marquess has shown up in games, and he knows coming in here that he had to do everything right to have a chance to make the team," offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said. "He's done a lot of things right, so, if he can continue to grow at the pace that he's growing … he's made plays in games, he's made plays in practice and consistency for a young guy is the biggest part."
Wide receiver Earl Bennett (concussion), defensive tackles Henry Melton (concussion) and Corvey Irvin (left ankle), linebackers D.J. Williams (calf) and J.T. Thomas (hamstring), offensive tackle Jonathan Scott (right knee), running back Harvey Unga (ribs), cornerback Zack Bowman (hamstring) did not practice. Bennett, Melton and Scott have all begun running, but it's uncertain when they will return to practice.