LAKE FOREST - Over the past two games the Bears' backup quarterback has done something the established starter hasn't for three years.
In his two starts since taking over for the injured Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer has eclipsed the 300-yard passing yards mark against the Cowboys and the Lions. The offense has been able to better spread the run and the pass at the same time and on Sunday the backup led the Bears to their first victory of the 2016 season.
The last time Cutler did that was Week 4 and 5 of the 2013 season.
Plus Hoyer has yet to throw an interception in two games and the quarter he filled in for Cutler against the Eagles in Week 2. All in all it has helped the first year Bears' backup make a favorable impression on his team and fans.
Once again there is no word on whether Cutler's injured thumb will heal enough to start this Sunday against the Colts in Indianapolis. "Day-to-Day, Week-to-Week" is how John Fox described the injury in his news conference on Monday.
Yet at the same time he left open the possibility that Cutler might not get the job back should Hoyer continue to play well in his absence.
"We will evaluate it, just like every position on the football team," said Fox when asked what would go into his decision to keep Hoyer as the starter or give the job back to Cutler. "Jay has played a lot of good football. In fact in the cut-ups watching Detroit in last year's two games I thought he played pretty well.
"We'll evaluate it like anything. Right now I don't like getting into speculation and predictions because we will know more on Wednesday."
A reporter then followed up with the question of whether Fox would be willing to go with the signal caller with the "hot hand" or recent good run of success.
"I think it's performance based," said Fox in response to the question. "Anybody that is performing well I don't think we are going to be likely to change."
Being the top quarterback is nothing new to Hoyer who has started 28 games in his NFL career. He has a record of 16-12 as a starter with Cleveland, Houston and Chicago and helped the Texans to the AFC South title in 2015. After Sunday's victory he was asked how he would handle his role - backup or starter - for the rest of the 2016 season.
“My role is do whatever is asked of me. Today I’m going to enjoy the victory," said Hoyer. "Whatever they say to me tomorrow, then that’s what I’m prepared to do. I think that’s being a professional about it. That’s one thing I’ve learned through the tough situations that I’ve been through is just be a pro. Whatever they ask of me, that what I’m paid to do and that’s what I’m going to go out there and do.”
Should he keep it up he might be able to do that a little bit longer this year.