Bears' Hoyer may get start even if Cutler's healthy

  • Chicago Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer throws during their game Sunday, October 12 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

    Chicago Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer throws during their game Sunday, October 12 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

Updated 10/3/2016 7:11 PM

On the strength of Brian Hoyer's back-to-back 300-yard passing games, the first by a Bears quarterback in nearly three years, it's fair to wonder if Jay Cutler gets the job back when his sprained thumb heals.

Coach John Fox's short answer appears to be "no."


"We'll evaluate it just like we do every position," Fox said. "Jay has played a lot of good football. In fact, in the (film) cut-ups (against) Detroit in last year's two games, I thought he played pretty well.

"We'll know more on Wednesday (at practice)," Fox said. "Anybody that's performing well, I don't think we're going to be likely to change."

There's no doubt Hoyer is performing well. His 120.1 passer rating Sunday was the second highest of his eight-year career. He has yet to be intercepted while throwing 97 passes, 4 of which have been for touchdowns. Cutler has 1 TD pass and 2 interceptions on 46 passes, and he has been sacked 8 times. Hoyer has been sacked 3 times.

Cutler could be healthy enough to play Sunday.

The last Bears quarterback with back-to-back 300-yard games was Josh McCown, who did it three times in a row against the Rams (352), Vikings (355) and Cowboys (348) in Games 11-13 in 2013.

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Flattering comparison:

Coach John Fox isn't lavish with his praise, but he paid a huge compliment to rookie running back Jordan Howard after his 23-carry, 111-yard performance in his first NFL start Sunday.

Asked if Howard reminded him of any running backs he'd coached, Fox said: "He's kind of a little Stephen Davis-ish."

The bruising, tackle-busting Davis rushed for more than 1,300 yards in four of five years (1999-2003) for Washington and the Carolina Panthers.

"He's got good pad level, and he's a big body to tackle," Fox said of the 6-foot, 222-pound Howard. "Stephen had really good feet and good eyes; good vision to hit holes."

The last Bear to rush for 100 yards was more than a year ago, when Matt Forte rushed for 141 yards vs. the Packers Sept. 13, 2015. Howard also became the first Bears rookie to rush for 100 yards in his first start since Forte ran for 123 yards on 23 attempts in 2008.


Howard also caught 3 passes for 21 yards.

"His hands are better than we thought," Fox said. "He does have an even-keeled demeanor. He's not going to go real high. He's not going to go real low. But he's a very instinctive football player."

Healthy numbers:

There was no update on the ankle injury receiver Kevin White incurred Sunday while catching 6 passes for 55 yards.

But coach John Fox continues to be impressed by the second-year player, who leads the Bears with 19 receptions and is third with 187 yards. The 19 catches are the most in franchise history for a player's first four games.

"By far his best game," Fox said. "He was real aggressive. He caught some contested balls. After the catch he was aggressive to get extra yards."

Coming and going:

Veteran defensive lineman C.J. Wilson was re-signed and running back Raheem Mostert was waived. Wilson originally signed last Wednesday but was waived four days later. Mostert played briefly in two games as a sub.


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