Chicago Bears Could Start Josh McCown, Bench Caleb Hanie Sunday

Brett LyonsContributor IIIDecember 20, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 18:  Caleb Hanie #12 of the Chicago Bears runs out of the pocket against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field on December18, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Seahawks defeated the Bears 38-14.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

A story from ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson cites multiple sources who say the Chicago Bears could be making a change under center this Sunday night when the Bears head up to Lambeau Field to battle the rival Green Bay Packers on Christmas night.

The report states the team will give McCown, 32, a chance to win the starting gig during practice this week.

Since filling in for the injured Jay Cutler, backup quarterback Caleb Hanie has completed 51 of his 102 passing attempts for 613 yards. He’s only thrown three touchdown passes to his nine interceptions, however, and has been sacked a whopping 19 times in four games.

The Bears elevated Hanie to the starting position after Cutler’s injured thumb likely took him out of action for the rest of the regular season. Down a quarterback, Chicago signed McCown off the street on November 23 to a one-year deal.

Now that the team is 7-7 after dropping all four of Hanie’s relief starts, the season stands in serious jeopardy. Hanie is obviously slowing down the offense and has arguably gotten worse in his time as the starter instead of progressing.

Making the switch could be seen as a “why not?” move by the Bears.

Chicago needs to win out against the Packers (December 25) and at the Minnesota Vikings (January 1) just to reach nine wins, the same amount of victories as the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons, who currently possess both NFC wild-card positions.

Though not mathematically eliminated yet, there is an obvious sense of panic in the Bears' front office and locker room. The team needs to win and catch a few breaks in order to make the postseason.

Perhaps one step towards getting back on the right track is to make a change at quarterback. Only time will tell.


Brett Lyons is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand or from official interview materials.

Follow Brett Lyons on Twitter @BrettLyons670.