Bears QB Jay Cutler 'shocked' to learn he had been benched

Thursday December 18th, 2014

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said that he was shocked upon learning that he had been benched in favor of Jimmy Clausen for Sunday's game against the Detroit LionsAddressing reporters at a press conference on Thursday, Cutler added that he would like to remain in Chicago.

ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the benching on Wednesday and Bears coach Marc Trestman confirmed it on Thursday. Trestman said the decision was "performance-based" and that Cutler is "coachable."  He added that he thinks the team needs a "lift" at quarterback.

• EAGLE: by benching Cutler, Bears make statement about franchise's future

In limited action during three games this season, Clausen has completed 33 percent of his passes for 42 yards and zero touchdowns. The Bears signed Clausen in June after he spent the previous four seasons with the Panthers.

Clausen, a second-round pick in the 2010 draft out of Notre Dame, completed 52.5 percent of his passes for 1,558 yards and three touchdowns with nine interceptions in his rookie season. Cam Newton took over as Carolina's starting quarterback in 2011 after the team selected him with the No. 1 pick in that year's draft. 

MMQB: How They Broke RG3

The 27-year-old Clausen takes over as the Bears' starter with the team having lost three consecutive games. In January, the Bears reached a seven-year contract extension with Jay Cutler, who has struggled this season.

A recent report said that the team has "buyer's remorse" about the deal. Cutler has thrown a league-high 18 interceptions this season. The Bears are 5-9 and in last place in the NFC North.

• Aaron Rodgers 'baffled' by Chicago OC's comments about Jay Cutler

- Chris Johnson

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.