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McCown to Make First Start in Four Years for Bears on Christmas

Josh McCown #15 of the Chicago Bears
Josh McCown #15 of the Chicago Bears passes against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field on Dec. 18, 2011 in Chicago. Photographer: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Chicago Bears quarterback Josh McCown will make his first National Football League start in four years when the team plays the division-rival Green Bay Packers on Dec. 25.

McCown, 32, will replace Caleb Hanie, the loser of all four of his starts in place of Jay Cutler, who fractured his thumb in a game last month, the team said today. McCown has thrown two passes with one completion and one interception this season, and hasn’t started since Week 16 of the 2007 season when he was with the Oakland Raiders.

The Bears (7-7) play the Packers (13-1) on Christmas at 8:20 p.m. New York time.

“It’s a cool story and a cool moment, but at the same time I’m a competitor,” McCown told reporters in a televised interview. “I want to win the game -- I want to do right by the coaches and by the other 52 guys in the locker room.”

McCown signed with the Bears on Nov. 23, three days after Cutler’s injury. He started nine games for the Raiders in 2007, going 2-7 with 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He has thrown eight passes in four games since.

The Bears were 7-3, in line for a playoff spot, when Hanie took over for Cutler. The 26-year-old quarterback threw three touchdowns and nine interceptions in his four starts before being benched.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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