CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -
By TOBY SELIGMAN
AP Sports Article writer
LAKE WOODLAND, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears were already losing video games. Now they’re going to be without their own most important players on both sides from the ball.
Injured quarterback Jay Cutler will miss at least the next four weeks of the season plus Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs will be out for around six weeks, shocking blows for a struggling team.
The Bears introduced the news Monday, a day after Cutler suffered a muscle tear in the groin during a 45-41 loss to the Washington Redskins, forcing the Has to go with veteran Josh McCown. Briggs left the game with a small fracture in his left shoulder. None player will need surgery.
“They’re not done, ” coach Marc Trestman said. “They’re going to be back (this season). ”
Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Tillman also left the game having a knee injury as Chicago (4-3) lost for the third time in four games.
The particular Bears are off this week, but with the injuries mounting, their period could be slipping away from them. The particular defense has been hit particularly hard in recent weeks, and with Cutler out, it’ll be veteran McCown liner up behind center as they try to keep up with Green Bay and Detroit in the NFC North.
Cutler came up clutching the top of his left lower-leg following a sack by 333-pound nasal area tackle Chris Baker with regarding 10 minutes left in the first fifty percent. He stayed down for a few mins and eventually limped off the field.
“They said this is a minimum four weeks and then we’ll assess it week to week, ” Trestman said. “Based on the history — I talked to the doctors this morning — of this injury, 4 weeks is a reasonable start and that it could be week to week. ”
The Bears insisted Cutler will return this season.
“Unless there’s a complication during their rehab, with the injury that he has that I’m certain he’ll be back at some point, ” general manager Phil Emery said.
Where Cutler will be next season remains to be seen, given his expiring contract. It’s the second time in three years that he will miss a significant chunk of time, after suffering a season-ending injury in 2011.
Emery said he doesn’t see a pattern. As for how this injury will impact contract discussions with Cutler after the season, he or she wouldn’t discuss that.
“There’s no reason to due to the fact it’s not the here-and-now, ” Emery said.
The here-and-now has the Bears forced to go with McCown, hoping he can at least keep them afloat while Cutler recuperates.
He entered Sunday’s game from Washington in the second quarter, seeing his first game action because the 2011 season. He completed fourteen of 20 passes for 204 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown move to Martellus Bennett that provided his team a 41-38 business lead with 3: 57 to play. McCown looked understandably rusty in his 1st few plays, but he did put Chicago in position to win the shootout with the Redskins.
The Bears will need many same if they’re going to have a chance of winning their next game from Green Bay on a Monday evening following the bye, not to mention beating Detroit the following week.
They didn’t fare well the last period they went an extended period with out Cutler. After he broke their thumb two years ago, the Has dropped five of six following a 7-3 start in a collapse that will cost general manager Jerry Angelo his job.
In the past, Caleb Hanie struggled in a large way. The Bears then considered McCown, who had been coaching high school soccer in North Carolina, late in the period. They have more weapons now along with Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery plus Bennett, not to mention a rebuilt offensive line and a system that’s geared more to quick, high-percentage goes by than what they were running below Mike Martz.
“Especially in this league where the quarterback drives the ship, I don’t know if you’re ever ready to handle losing your starting quarterback, ” McCown mentioned. “But I think the structure is in place and the emphasis has been put on individuals to do their job and do their part. If we continue to get that, and we felt like we obtained that yesterday, it allows the particular quarterback to step in there, be it Jay or myself, to function plus play, because guys are going to be coached to be where they are supposed to be and do what they’re supposed to do. ”
With Cutler out, Chicago is bringing in Jordan Palmer to back up McCown. The Bears had been one injury away from having receiver Earl Bennett line up behind center because they only carry two quarterbacks.
Emery said that won’t change.
He also said the Bears are looking to create in a veteran with Briggs hurt. And just for the record, Brian Urlacher is not a candidate. Emery shot down that idea, pointing out that the former star middle linebacker submitted his retirement papers before the period and received his termination spend.
He also mentioned the Bears won’t make a business simply because of the injuries, even though they have got some big holes to fill. They lost defensive tackle Holly Melton, his replacement, Nate Collins, and middle linebacker D. J. Williams to season-ending knee accidental injuries. With Briggs out, rookie Jon Bostic or veteran James Anderson figure to call plays plus rookie Khaseem Greene will likely have more playing time.
“We’ve worked trades here the last couple of weeks, we just haven’t found the correct combination of value and player exchange, ” Emery said.
NOTE: To make room for Palmer, Emery said the Bears released TE Steve Maneri.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
The Associated Press contributed to this report.