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Will McCown remain starter when Cutler returns?

Posted Dec 10, 2013

Larry discusses the Bears' quarterback situation, the last time the Bears didn't punt in a game and if Matt Forte has a chance to break Walter Payton's team rushing record.

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

I think Josh McCown has been playing incredibly well for the Bears. Do you think he will remain the starting quarterback when Jay Cutler gets healthy?

Bob W.
Willowbrook, Illinois

Coach Marc Trestman reiterated following Monday night's win over the Cowboys that Jay Cutler will regain the starting job when he's healthy, saying: "There's no change in the plan. We'll see where Jay is this week. He'll have to be released by the doctors. When Jay's ready to play, he'll be playing." Cutler has been sidelined since suffering a high ankle sprain Nov. 10 in a loss to the Lions. Even McCown acknowledged after Monday night's victory that he remains the Bears' No. 2 quarterback, saying: "The team knows who the starting quarterback is and I know my job as the backup. I want to play efficient football, winning football and keep us in contention while the starter is not healthy. As long as Jay is healthy and ready to go, I don't think that's any question."

When was the last time the Bears didn't punt in a game and scored on every possession like they did in Monday night's win over the Cowboys?

Ray T.
Oak Park, Illinois

Monday night marked the fourth game in Bears history in which they did not punt. The last time it happened was on Oct. 1, 1972 in a 38-24 loss to the Lions at Soldier Field. On Monday night, the Bears did not punt or commit a turnover for the first time in franchise history. But that doesn't necessarily mean it was the first time they scored on all of their possessions (at least before taking a knee on the final play). There may have been a game when the Bears turned the ball over on downs or ran out of time at the end of a half. The NFL doesn't track that type of information. So I can't be sure it was the first time they scored on every possession, but I do know that it was the Bears' best offensive performance I've seen in my 22 seasons covering the team.

Do you think that Matt Forte has any chance to break Walter Payton's team rushing record?

Evan B.
Helena, Montana

I'd say it's a longshot at best. Matt Forte has rushed for 6,400 yards in six seasons with the Bears to this point, leaving him 10,326 yards behind Walter Payton. Forte has averaged about 1,110 yards per year, which means it would take him 10 more years (and 16 total) producing at that same rate to break the record. Forte keeps himself in great shape, but I think that's asking too much. Of course, just the fact that we're even discussing the topic shows how productive Forte has been since joining the Bears in 2008 as a second-round pick from Tulane. He's had a very good career to this point.

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