Quarterback Saga Continues

Lake Forest - While Lovie Smith is holding off to announce a decision about the quarterback situation, there is little choice but to turn to Chad Hutchinson when the Bears take the field against the Vikings in eight days.

"At quarterback you have to say that Chad is an option of ours," Smith said.

"We have an idea right now what direction we're going to go but Monday we would like to have him in place and kind of go from there."

Hutchinson has been with the team for two months and feels he knows the offense well enough to take command of the huddle.

"Would more time be better? Yes, but that's the situation we're in," Smith said.

The Bears offense failed to score for the first time this year, which is a new low considering the Cowboys were giving up an average of 28.2 points per game coming into the contest.

Hutchinson, who will be the fourth different quarterback to start for the Bears this season, is 2-7 in nine career starts during his three-year career.

Despite the poor record he does have the most experience of any quarterback on the roster. Knocking off the rust of will be a challenge, as Hutchinson has thrown just two passes in the NFL over the past year and a half, but there is no reason not to see if he has the ability to handle starting.

"You know he's a pitcher in baseball, a fastball thrower and all that good stuff. He can throw the ball," Smith said. "He's got good size, so I think physically he definitely has enough ability to do it but you know there's some other things that come into play too."

By no means are the Bears expecting Hutchinson to be the long-term answer at the position, but finding out if there's a legitimate backup on the roster is the most important thing the Bears have left to do in their remaining five games.

The offense has accounted for 78 of the 113 points the team has scored since Grossman went down against the Vikings in Week 3. That's less than 10 points per game.

The defense and special teams have combined for 30 points over the past four game to the offense's 51 points during that stretch. Of the points scored by the offense only three drives were more than 60 yards. Meaning turnovers forced by the defense accounted for the majority of the points.

"If you get down to your third quarterback, you're in trouble and you have to make the best of that situation and you just have to regroup and go from there," Smith said.

The Minnesota defense is nothing to be intimidated by, which would give Hutchinson a chance to have immediate success.

"I'm eager to play whenever I step on the field," Hutchinson said following the loss to Dallas. "It would be nice -- whatever role they're going to give me, I'll take.

"It's one of those things that's out of my control."

Whether a move will be solely initiated by Craig Krenzel's injury or simply just a lack of production will be answered next week when Smith officially makes his decision.

Starting Hutchinson may prove no more productive than Krenzel or Jonathan Quinn, but at the very least it will bye the team some time.

Frustration is bound to set in at some point when one side of the ball is carrying the other and with Hutchinson in, it could give the team a renewed feeling of hope in a season that has been filled with disappointment.

"A lot was at stake with yesterday's game and we didn't play well," Smith said. "We're disappointed with that and that's how the team is right now. We're disappointed in the efforts that we gave."

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