The Jay Cutler injury is overshadowing pretty much everything else that happened during the NFC Championship. One of the things being overshadowed is the depth chart placement of Todd Collins and Caleb Hanie.
Collins, the backup quarterback, entered the game in the third quarter when Cutler could no longer play through his injury. In his first game action since starting week five, Collins looked even worse than his 0/4 passing would indicate. Collins looked confused and the Bears appeared to have no chance to win the game with him at quarterback.
With 57-seconds remaining in the third quarter Collins was removed in favor of Hanie. Today it was reported that Collins suffered a shoulder injury on his final snap. Whether Collins was removed due to an injury, or lack of production, the Bears quickly showed signs of life under the third string quarterback. For the game, Hanie was 13/20, for 153 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
After seeing both backup quarterbacks’ performances, questions arose as to why Collins, and not Hanie, was listed as Cutler’s backup. After all, Collins’ last action was a horrendous game agaisnt the Carolina Panthers in which we was 6/16 passing, for 32 yards, four interceptions and a 6.3 QB-rating.
When pressed to explain Collins’ status, Lovie cited practice time and experience.
“Because we went through practice and we thought he gave us our best chance,” Lovie said of Collins being the backup. “We like a veteran in that position…And you never know what your No. 2 or No. 3 quarterback can do until they play again.”
It didn’t take long on Sunday to realize the Bears had no chance to win the game with Collins leading the offense.
“We gave No. 2 an opportunity,” Lovie said. “He didn’t do the job and we gave [Hanie a chance], and we’re really pleased with what he was able to do.”
This issue is just one of the many concerns that Bears fans have moving forward. With general manager Jerry Angelo indicating that the team would like to extend Lovie’s contract, these are issues that need to be resolved if the Bears truly want to contend.