(CBS) A day before the Bears break training camp, coach Marc Trestman said reserve quarterback Jimmy Clausen will relieve starter Jay Cutler in Thursday’s preseason game against the Jaguars, but the battle for the backup job with Jordan Palmer remains wide open.
“Jimmy will relieve Jay, and he’ll have the shot after Jay comes out of the game — whenever that is,” Trestman said Tuesday after practice. “But both of them will play.”
Trestman still hasn’t given a timeline for when he wants to choose a backup quarterback, but he reiterated the competition remains wide open. In Friday’s preseason opener, many thought Clausen outplayed Palmer, albeit against lesser competition after Palmer received most of the second-team snaps.
Clausen was 7-of-13 for 150 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Palmer completed 8-of-11 passes for 104 yards, a touchdown and an interception while also taking one sack.
“You see it every day out here,” Trestman said. “They’re both making plays, so they’re competing. I’ve talked to both of them, and nothing’s set in stone from last week. We grade them every day. We’re watching all the tape. We’re making the corrections with each of them. It’s still a competition and they know it. We’re repping them that way.”
Even when asked in a more roundabout way for insight on the battle — So what are the most important variables to winning the job? — Trestman didn’t tip his hand.
“That’s a question that’s tough to answer,” Trestman said. “It’s how they work on each and every day. It’s a composite of everything that goes on here — how they practice, how they play in the game. We grade them out, we talk to them about everything.
“There’s no one thing we’re looking at. It really is an all-encompassing evaluation on and off the field and performance, certainly, during the preseason games.”
Other practice notes
— Offensive tackle Jordan Mills sat out Tuesday’s practice with a sore left foot. “I really think it’s just day-to-day,” Trestman said. “He’s in that boot, he’s out of the boot, he’s doing the things he needs to do. I don’t want to put a time limit on this thing.”
— Safety Chris Conte’s status for Thursday’s game against the Jaguars is still uncertain. “I’m hoping he can” play, Trestman said. Conte returned to practice Sunday for the first time since surgery on his right shoulder in March, and his limited practice time is a factor to consider.
— Tight end Dante Rosario sat out practice with calf soreness. Chris Williams (hamstring) and Isaiah Frey (hamstring) also sat out.
— Cornerback Charles Tillman, defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff and running back Matt Forte were given veterans’ days off.
— Trestman on training camp as a whole: “It was a very good camp. I told them after practice we did a great job of focusing when we needed to focus on our work.”