Based on performance, injury or both Rex Grossman looks to be the Bears’ starting quarterback for Sunday’s game at Seattle.
The Bears (4-5) will look to climb to .500 for the first time since Week 2 with the former first-round pick at the helm based on the fact that he was with the first team during the beginning of Wednesday’s practice and Brian Griese was sidelined, recovering from a bruised left non-throwing shoulder.
Grossman led the Bears back to a 17-6 victory over the hapless Oakland Raiders last Sunday when he hit Bernard Berrian for a 59-yard touchdown with less than four minutes to play. Griese was knocked out of the game in the second quarter after being sacked by Raiders linebacker Kirk Morrison and having his left shoulder driven in to the turf.
The coaching staff and sources close to Griese have described the injury as minor, and you’d think with it being the non-throwing shoulder that it would not be a significant impediment to him playing. But he was out, and the expectation has been that Grossman would be promoted whether Griese was healthy or not.
Grossman is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent following the season and there’s no question general manager Jerry Angelo would like a final stretch of games to evaluate him. The change to Grossman will mark the 32nd change in starting quarterbacks in the last 133 regular-season games for the Bears. It marks the ninth change Lovie Smith has made in 58 regular-season games. Grossman defeated the Seahawks twice last season, including the postseason.
Following the stretching period, Grossman began running plays with the first team offense when the media was ushered out of practice with the exception of Tribune Co. employee Carlos Zambrano.