Palmer, Edwards to handle all reps in finale

August, 19, 2013
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman revealed on Monday that starting quarterback Jay Cutler and his primary backup, Josh McCown, will not see the field in the team’s preseason finale Aug. 29 versus the Cleveland Browns.

[+] EnlargeJordan Palmer
Phil Sears/USA TODAY Sports

"This is a great opportunity," Jordan Palmer said of being named to split reps with Trent Edwards during the Bears preseason finale against the Browns on Aug. 29. "I'm at the point in my career where I just want to play football."

Instead, newcomers Jordan Palmer and Trent Edwards will lead the Bears offense against the Browns as both try to earn a spot on the team’s 53-man roster in the aftermath of Matt Blanchard’s hand injury, which could keep him out a month.

“The reason, obviously, why we got them both in is we worked them out, we liked them both,” Trestman said. “We’ll get them a chance to play and get on tape. I think they’ll be pretty familiar with the offense once they get out there, and we’ll do the best we can.

“If something would happen to Jordan as the third [QB on the depth chart], we still would have wanted to protect Josh. So that’s the reason why we’ve got two quarterbacks coming in.”

Palmer said on Monday he relishes the chance to showcase himself in the preseason after working in sports marketing as recently as late last week. Palmer appeared in four games for the Cincinnati Bengals from 2008 to 2010 and spent time last season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

[+] EnlargeTrent Edwards
Howard Smith/USA TODAY Sports

Edwards is in a tough position, having missed the offseason and part of the preseason. "But that's the hand that's been dealt," he said. "You have to play it and make the best of it."

“This is a great opportunity,” Palmer said. “I’m at the point in my career where I just want to play football. I’ve had the opportunity to learn a lot of different offenses from a lot of great coaches, played with some great quarterbacks [and this is] another opportunity to do that here. A really dynamic offense and a guy who has been around the block and I’ve known since college in Jay.”

“Excited for the opportunity and looking forward to making the most of it,” he said.

In the case of Edwards, the five-year veteran has been in this situation before. The owner of a 14-19 lifetime starting record, Edwards bounced between three teams after leaving the Buffalo Bills, the franchise that selected him in the third round of the 2007 NFL draft out of Stanford, at the end of the 2010 season.

“It’s tough when you miss the offseason program, the OTAs [offseason training activities] and some of the preseason,” Edwards said. “You really don’t know what the coaches want from you, so you’re sitting there having to watch and having to learn.

“But that’s the hand that’s been dealt. You have to play it and make the best of it. That’s how I’m approaching it.”

As far as Friday night’s third preseason game in Oakland, Cutler and McCown will both play versus the Raiders, with Cutler expected to be on the field for a minimum of one half before being replaced by McCown in the third quarter. Palmer is scheduled to play in the fourth quarter.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He is also a talk-show host on ESPN 1000 and the ESPN Radio network.



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