BOURBONNAIS — Jimmy Clausen has a great opportunity Thursday to stake his claim as the backup to quarterback Jay Cutler.
Coach Marc Trestman announced Tuesday that Clausen will relieve Cutler against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“He’ll have the shot after Jay comes out of the game, whenever that is,” Trestman said. “But [Clausen and Jordan Palmer] will play.”
Palmer relieved Cutler in the Bears’ exhibition opener Friday against the Philadelphia Eagles and played primarily with the second-stringers.
But Clausen led the Bears’ comeback, completing 7 of 13 passes for 150 yards, two touchdowns and a 134.6 rating during the third quarter (his only quarter of play).
Palmer (8-for-11, 104 yards, touchdown, interception) wasn’t completely outdone by Clausen against the Eagles, but Clausen has been the better performer during training camp.
Now he’ll get a chance to work with some of the Bears’ better players.
“It’s another opportunity to get better and get more comfortable with the whole offense,” said Clausen, the former Notre Dame standout.
Clausen’s arm strength has been impressive, especially considering that he had surgery on his right shoulder last September.
“My shoulder feels great,” Clausen said. “It’s probably the best it has felt since my junior year at Notre Dame. I felt good. The legs feel good. I just have to keep grinding.”
Trestman has insisted that the competition between Clausen and Palmer is ongoing. If there’s a leader in his mind, he’s not saying.
“You see it every day out here,” Trestman said. “They’re both making plays. They’re competing. I’ve talked to both of them that 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.”