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Jay Cutler benched; Jimmy Clausen to start Sunday for Bears

Backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen will start instead of Jay Cutler on Sunday, sources confirmed to the Sun-Times late Wednesday.

Marc Trestman didn’t say as much earlier in the day, when he said simply that “Monday Night Football” analyst Jon Gruden, who called for Clausen earlier, had a “right to his opinion.” He defended his decision to keep playing Cutler at halftime in Monday’s loss to the Saints.

“I think it’s always on an individual basis and how we go about doing things” Trestman said. “We talk about those things at halftime, at all positions, what can we do to do better. We make decisions at the time that are in the best interest of the team and that’s the way we go about it.”

Last week, offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer apologized to the offense for criticizing Cutler to an NFL Network reporter in an off-the-record confirmation. The story said Bears officials were having buyer’s remorse after signing Cutler to a seven-year, $126.7 million contract this past offseason.

Cutler had perhaps his worst game of the season Monday, completing 17-of-31 passes for 194 yards. His three interceptions and seven sacks were a season-high.