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Hoyer consistent, efficient in relief stint

Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains has been pleased with how backup quarterback Brian Hoyer has performed in place of injured starter Jay Cutler.


Quarterback Brian Hoyer with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains looking on.

In two starts and one relief appearance, Hoyer has completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 697 yards with four touchdowns, no interceptions and an impressive 103.3 passer rating.

"He's played very consistent," Loggains said. "He's been very efficient moving the offense, [and] done a nice job getting us in and out of the huddle and distributing the ball to the right guy."

In last Sunday's 17-14 win over the Lions, Hoyer passed for 302 yards with two TDs, no turnovers and a 120.0 passer rating that was both the second best of his career and the second best by a Bears backup in 17 games that Cutler has missed since arriving in Chicago in 2009.

Loggains first worked with Hoyer as his position coach with the Browns in 2014 when Hoyer played in 14 games with 13 starts and passed for a career-high 3,326 yards. Hoyer followed in 2015 by quarterbacking the Texans to the AFC South championship.

"He's not a different player," Loggains said. "I think he's a little more confident because he's played more and taken a team to the playoffs. I see his personality coming out a little more. He's just excited to be out there with the guys and helping us win a game last week."

Running man: Rookie running back Jordan Howard made the most of his first NFL start last Sunday, rushing for 111 yards on 23 carries against the Lions. What stood out most to Loggains was the yards the fifth-round pick gained after contact.

"I was really impressed with the way he ran the football," Loggains said. "His vision was good. He did a lot of things well in the game. I don't think anyone got a clean hit on him, which is unusual for a big back. But he is able to run through arm tackles because he is big and strong.

"The vision definitely helps because he sees the holes and he makes good cuts. He's doing a really good job. For a big back, sometimes those guys aren't great on the outside zone stuff. But I think that's one of his strengths. A lot of those guys are downhill, inside zone runners. He does a nice job in both schemes."

Stepping up: No player has made more progress since joining the Bears than receiver Cameron Meredith, who played quarterback his first three years at Illinois State.

After making the Bears roster as an undrafted rookie last year, Meredith helped fill the void after injuries decimated the team's receiving corps, catching 11 passes for 120 yards.

"Cam got playing time for us last year," said coach John Fox. "I was impressed with him. He has continued to grow this year. He's tall. He's long. He's got good catch radius. He does have good speed. You see his arm length. He went up and snatched one over the middle [against the Lions]. He's got good hands. He's a young guy that's going to get better."

Meredith has caught six passes for 52 yards in the first four games this season and likely will get more opportunities now that Kevin White has been placed on injured reserve with a fractured fibula and high ankle sprain.

"I've been impressed with Cam," Hoyer said. "Skill-wise he's big, he's fast. His hands are impressive for being a guy who hasn't really played receiver that long. I know he's a former quarterback. He's going to get his opportunity to step up and I think he's made strides to be ready for that opportunity."

Injury update: After sitting our practice Wednesday, tight end Zach Miller (ribs) was limited Thursday. Everyone else on the injury report remained unchanged.

Those who did not practice for the second straight day were Cutler (right thumb), outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (calf), nose tackle Eddie Goldman (ankle), running back Jeremy Langford (ankle) and receiver Eddie Royal (calf).

Players who were limited again included inside linebacker Danny Trevathan (thumb), defensive end Jonathan Bullard (shoulder), running back Ka'Deem Carey (hamstring), receiver Alshon Jeffery (knee), linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (elbow), cornerbacks Tracy Porter (knee) and Sherrick McManis (hamstring), guard Josh Sitton (shoulder) and outside linebacker Willie Young (knee).

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