Cutler, Bears run into trouble

(Continued from Page 4)

CHICAGO – The Bears can live with a hard-fought loss to one of the NFL’s best teams.

However, the short- or long-term loss of their franchise quarterback is something else entirely.

Jay Cutler sustained a concussion in the first half of the Bears’ 13-6 loss to the Houston Texans on a rainy Sunday night at Soldier Field. Cutler gave way to backup quarterback Jason Campbell, who failed to rally the offense from a halftime deficit that was created in large part by four first-half turnovers.

After the game, Bears coach Lovie Smith sidestepped questions about when Cutler was concussed. The Bears did not make Cutler available to the media, which is standard policy when a player sustains a concussion.

“I’m not even going to try to guess,” Smith said. “He took some shots. It could have happened at any time. We just know at the half, that’s when he did have symptoms. That’s about all I know right now.”

Cutler’s concussion likely stemmed from a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit by Texans linebacker Tim Dobbins with about 2:30 remaining in the first half. The shot came on an improvised play in which Cutler scrambled toward the line of scrimmage and flicked an 8-yard pass to Devin Hester across the middle.

As it turned out, Cutler had drifted past the line of scrimmage before he released the ball, and he was penalized for an illegal forward pass. Dobbins also drew a penalty for his illegal hit, in which he drove his helmet into the front of Cutler’s helmet to knock him down.

In yet another testament to his toughness, Cutler quickly stood up and remained in the game. He scrambled for an 11-yard gain on the next play before Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson tackled him.

But Dobbins’ hit clearly had a residual effect on Cutler, who was intercepted by Jackson three plays after absorbing the shot. Between the time that Dobbins hit him high and the time that he was pulled from the game, he completed two of five passes for four yards plus an interception.

In 30 minutes of action, Cutler registered a paltry 16.7 passer rating (7 of 14, 40 yards, 2 INTs). His mistakes, combined with a pair of fumbles by Kellen Davis and Michael Bush, proved to be too much to overcome. Robbie Gould and Shayne Graham each kicked a pair of field goals for their teams, while Arian Foster scored the game’s only touchdown on a diving catch with 4:14 remaining in the second quarter.

Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall said he and his teammates had no idea that Cutler was concussed.

“Jay’s a tough guy,” Marshall said. “If he was hurting, he wouldn’t let us know.”

At 7-2, the Bears’ playoff outlook remains healthy provided that Cutler can bounce back before too long. He missed one game after sustaining a concussion in 2010 against the New York Giants, and he will have to pass a set of league-imposed medical tests before he can return to the field.

It’s possible that the Bears’ prime-time matchup next week against the San Francisco 49ers could feature two backup quarterbacks.

Like Cutler, 49ers quarterback Alex Smith sustained a concussion in the first half Sunday against the St. Louis Rams and did not return to the game. He was replaced by Colin Kaepernick, a second-year player who had attempted 14 career passes before this weekend.

Although Cutler has been tight-lipped about the topic, it’s likely that he has sustained several more concussions during his collegiate career at Vanderbilt and three seasons with the Denver Broncos.

A week after sustaining a concussion in 2010, Cutler spoke candidly about his symptoms.

“There was some dizziness, general fogginess of your surroundings,” Cutler said. “And you’re not sharp. Your awareness is a little but down. All that stuff kind of combined into the doubt.”

At the time, Cutler was asked whether he was scared about the long-term effects of concussions.

“This game is tough,” Cutler said. “This league is all about battling through injuries, but obviously concussions are something you have to take pretty seriously.

“I haven’t really thought about it much, and hopefully I won’t have to again.”

He does, now.CHICAGO – The Bears can live with a hard-fought loss to one of the NFL’s best teams.

However, the short- or long-term loss of their franchise quarterback is something else entirely.

Jay Cutler suffered a concussion in the first half of the Bears’ 13-6 loss to the Houston Texans on a rainy Sunday night at Soldier Field. Cutler gave way to backup quarterback Jason Campbell, who failed to rally the offense from a halftime deficit that was created in large part by four first-half turnovers.

After the game, Bears coach Lovie Smith sidestepped questions about when Cutler was concussed. The Bears did not make Cutler available to the media, which is standard policy when a player suffers a concussion.

“I’m not even going to try to guess,” Smith said. “He took some shots. It could have happened at any time. We just know at the half, that’s when he did have symptoms. That’s about all I know right now.”

Cutler’s concussion likely stemmed from a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit by Texans linebacker Tim Dobbins with about 2:30 remaining in the first half. The shot came on an improvised play in which Cutler scrambled toward the line of scrimmage and flicked an 8-yard pass to Devin Hester across the middle.

As it turned out, Cutler had drifted past the line of scrimmage before he released the ball, and he was penalized for an illegal forward pass. Dobbins also drew a penalty for his illegal hit, in which he drove his helmet into the front of Cutler’s helmet to knock him down.

In yet another testament to his toughness, Cutler quickly stood up and remained in the game. He scrambled for an 11-yard gain on the next play before Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson tackled him.

But Dobbins’ hit clearly had a residual effect on Cutler, who was intercepted by Jackson three plays after absorbing the shot. Between the time that Dobbins hit him high and the time that he was pulled from the game, he completed two of five passes for four yards plus an interception.

In 30 minutes of action, Cutler registered a paltry 16.7 passer rating (7 of 14, 40 yards, 2 INTs). His mistakes, combined with a pair of fumbles by Kellen Davis and Michael Bush, proved to be too much to overcome. Robbie Gould and Shayne Graham each kicked a pair of field goals for their teams, while Arian Foster scored the game’s only touchdown on a diving catch with 4:14 remaining in the second quarter.

Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall said he and his teammates had no idea that Cutler was concussed.

“Jay’s a tough guy,” Marshall said. “If he was hurting, he wouldn’t let us know.”

At 7-2, the Bears’ playoff outlook remains healthy provided that Cutler can bounce back before too long. He missed one game after sustaining a concussion in 2010 against the New York Giants, and he will have to pass a set of league-imposed medical tests before he can return to the field.

It’s possible that the Bears’ prime-time matchup next week against the San Francisco 49ers could feature two backup quarterbacks.

Like Cutler, 49ers quarterback Alex Smith sustained a concussion in the first half Sunday against the St. Louis Rams and did not return to the game. He was replaced by Colin Kaepernick, a second-year player who had attempted 14 career passes before this weekend.

Although Cutler has been tight-lipped about the topic, it’s likely that he has sustained several more concussions during his collegiate career at Vanderbilt and three seasons with the Denver Broncos.

A week after sustaining a concussion in 2010, Cutler spoke candidly about his symptoms.

“There was some dizziness, general fogginess of your surroundings,” Cutler said. “And you’re not sharp. Your awareness is a little but down. All that stuff kind of combined into the doubt.”

At the time, Cutler was asked whether he was scared about the long-term effects of concussions.

“This game is tough,” Cutler said. “This league is all about battling through injuries, but obviously concussions are something you have to take pretty seriously.

“I haven’t really thought about it much, and hopefully I won’t have to again.”

He does, now.

Comments

Reader Poll

What's your favorite Easter candy?
Chocolate Easter bunny
Creme eggs
Jelly beans
Peeps
Other