With Cutler hurt, Bears promote QB Barkley

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — In another sign that Jay Cutler‘s right thumb sprain will keep him out of Sunday night’s game at Dallas, the Chicago Bears elevated quarterback Matt Barkley from the practice squad to the active roster, the team announced.

Barkley joined the Bears after being waived by the Arizona Cardinals this month. Arizona had acquired the former 2013 fourth-round pick out of USC from the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015. In his career, Barkley has appeared in four games for the Eagles, completing 30-of-50 pass attempts for 300 yards and four interceptions.

Cutler is officially day-to-day, but he admitted that he had trouble gripping the football before he exited Monday night’s game versus the Eagles in the third quarter.

Barkley will back up 30-year old veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer, who took first-team reps at practice Wednesday.

“I think I’ve said it before: Whether you’re the starter, the backup or the third guys, you prepare every week like you’re the starter,” Hoyer said. “You may get a few more reps here or there but that’s the fact of being able to play at any time, being ready to play. Just prepare like you’re going to play and take it one day at a time and come Sunday, we’ll see what happens.”

Hoyer passed for 2,606 yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions for the Texans last year, but tossed four picks in Houston’s AFC Playoff loss to Kansas City.

In other injury news, the Bears placed outside linebacker Lamarr Houston on injured reserve with a torn ACL. Houston led the Bears with eight sacks in 2015.

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