It appears that the Bears will enter the season with Jimmy Clausen as their backup quarterback after Jordan Palmer's contract was terminated Sunday.
In three preseason games, Clausen has completed 24 of 37 passes for 280 yards with two touchdowns, one interception and a 94.4 passer rating, while Palmer has connected on 21 of 30 passes for 225 yards with 1 TD, 1 interception and an 88.9 rating.
|Jimmy Clausen watches practice with Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer.|
Palmer originally signed with the Bears last Aug. 16 and played the first half of the preseason finale against the Browns, completing 11 of 17 passes for 111 yards with one TD and a 102.8 rating.
Palmer was cut before the start of the regular season, but he was re-signed Oct. 28 after Cutler suffered a groin injury in a Week 7 loss to the Redskins. Palmer then spent the final nine weeks of the season on the Bears' 53-man roster, but he did not appear in a game.
The Bears also released 11 other players Sunday as they began the process of reaching the NFL's 75-man roster limit, including veteran safety Adrian Wilson and defensive tackle Nate Collins.
Wilson, 34, signed with the Bears on June 23. He was voted to five Pro Bowls during 12 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals from 2001-12, but missed all of last season with a leg injury after joining the New England Patriots.
Collins appeared in 14 games with two starts for the Bears the past two seasons, recording 25 tackles and one sack. He played in the first five contests last year before suffering a torn ACL last Oct. 6 in a loss to the New Orleans Saints.
During the offseason, the Bears addressed the defensive tackle position by re-signing Jeremiah Ratliff and selecting Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton in the second and third rounds of the draft.
The Bears also waived second-year running back Michael Ford, who appeared in 12 games as a rookie last season after earning a roster spot as an undrafted free agent. Coach Marc Trestman acknowledged last week that Ford was behind Shaun Draughn and rookie fourth-round pick Ka'Deem Carey in the competition for backup positions behind starter Kyle Long.
Other players waived Saturday included cornerbacks Derricus Purdy and Peyton Thompson, guard/center Dylan Gandy, tackle Joe Long, and receivers Greg Herd and Kofi Hughes. In addition, the contracts of return specialist Darius Reynaud and linebacker Jordan Senn were terminated.
The Bears must trim three more players by 3 p.m. Tuesday to reach the NFL's mandatory 75-man roster limit. Teams must then reach the 53-man limit by 5 p.m. Saturday.