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Monday, August 19, 2013
Trestman: No decision on Matt Blanchard

By Jeff Dickerson

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Second-year quarterback Matt Blanchard watched practice on Monday with a soft cast on his fractured left hand, but Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman acknowledged that a final decision on Blanchard’s roster status has not been made after the club acquired veteran quarterbacks Jordan Palmer and Trent Edwards.

Blanchard broke a knuckle in his left hand in the third quarter of the Bears’ 33-28 preseason victory over the San Diego Chargers.

Matt Blanchard

A broken knuckle has the roster status of Bears quarterback Matt Blanchard in jeopardy.

“We’ve got to see how this injury unfolds and how it relates to the roster,” Trestman said. “So we’re just giving that some time, but it’s a relevant question. We just are not in position to make that decision yet, so we’re just going to see how this injury unfolds and what the length of it would be.”

Blanchard could not put a timetable on a return.

“I really don’t know yet,” Blanchard said. "We’re still talking and I still have to see some doctors. I still have to talk to our trainers and figure that stuff out.”

Based on Trestman’s comments throughout training camp, Blanchard had performed well in the preseason and appeared to be a strong candidate to earn a spot on the final 53-man roster as the Bears’ No. 3 quarterback before the injury. Blanchard completed 15 of 18 passes for 194 yards in the Bears' opening preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.

“I feel good about my progress [in the offense],” Blanchard said. “I feel good about moving forward and a lot of the stuff’s out of my hands at this point.

“I just have to help the new quarterbacks coming in to get them ready for Oakland and get them ready for the last preseason game and be the best teammate possible.”

Blanchard earned an invitation to the Bears’ rookie minicamp last spring as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Wisconsin-Whitewater and impressed the coaching staff enough that the team signed him to a contract and brought him to training camp. Blanchard did not survive the final cuts but did spend a chunk of the 2012 season on the Bears’ practice squad before re-signing with the organization at the beginning of the offseason.

Questions now emerge: Will the Bears keep three quarterbacks on the regular season roster? And will Blanchard’s injury prevent him from being ready at or near the start of Week 1?

Blanchard also could be a candidate to return to the practice squad down the road.

Trestman admitted that the Bears are still working through the numbers at quarterback.

“Depending on Matt’s situation, we’ll have to make a determination whether we’ll have three or possibly four quarterbacks on the roster," Trestman said. "More likely three, and that could involve one of those two guys certainly at this point. But it’s still up in the air based on what happens the next few weeks and what happens with Matt.”