By Nick Shook
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Hoyer could be seen holding his left arm after he was hit by Julius Peppers. He left for the locker room shortly after exiting the field for the sideline. Matt Barkley took over at quarterback for the Bears a short time later.
Barkley was once considered a top prospect while at USC, but fell to the fourth round of the 2013 draft. He hadn’t attempted a regular season pass since 2014 while with the Eagles, and spent a season in Arizona before joining the Bears. No matter how much Phil Simms attempts to talk up Barkley, film on him is limited, as is his NFL experience.
Barkley engineered a 54-yard drive on his first possession of the game, which ended in a 39-yard field goal from Connor Barth.
It’s an interesting twist to what NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported earlier Thursday, that BearsCEO Ted Phillips said it’s too early to rule out Jay Cutler‘s return as starting quarterback. Hoyer had made a fairly strong case to retain the job no matter the status of Cutler, posting four straight 300-yard games with six total touchdowns and zero interceptions. But with injuries sidelining both and the timetable for Hoyer’s return beyond Thursday unknown, the door might have been opened slightly more for Cutler to get another shot at taking back his job.