The situation at quarterback for the Bears became a shade darker with the preseason-ending fractured knuckle suffered by Matt Blanchard. The Bears signed Jordan Palmer off the street on Saturday and it’ll be a scramble to get him up to speed, particularly if they want their No. 3 quarterback to play every snap as Josh McCown did last year.
Did Bears general manager Phil Emery and the coaches err in not having an extra arm in camp as insurance? Not really.
The chief reason for no fourth quarterback was that the organization had determined that there were virtually no surplus reps to spend on a No. 4. Coaches wanted Jay Cutler getting more work because of the offense-install. Cutler and the rest of the offense has needed it, still needs it for that matter, which is why Game Three in Oakland is of some import.
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To have had Palmer holding a clipboard during camp practices would have been a minor waste of his time, if he would have agreed to a deal to sit behind Blanchard.
For comparison purposes, the Denver Broncos did go with three behind Peyton Manning. But the New England Patriots are going with just three, in Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett and Tim Tebow, and that’s an offense that Brady could teach as well as play. And in Buffalo, with a new coach and new quarterback, the Bills have been going with just two behind rookie EJ Manuel, who unfortunately went down with a knee injury. Same in Arizona, where new coach Bruce Arians has just two behind Jordan’s brother Carson Palmer as the Cardinals install the Arians’ Way.
Just an unfortunate setback for Blanchard, who had a good chance of playing his way onto someone’s roster and, best guess here, has not played his last NFL down.