Found November 21, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Jay Cutler is often criticized for some of his decision-making, on and off the field, including this season's outburst against offensive lineman J'Marcus Webb, but there is no doubting his importance to the Chicago Bears. Take one look at Monday night's embarrassing 32-7 loss at San Francisco in which Chicago finished with just 143 yards of net offense while Cutler was out with a concussion. Adding to a now two-year trend, the Bears are just not the same without Cutler. "I think he is one of the best quarterbacks playing the game, and we are a different football team with him," Chicago coach Lovie Smith told Minnesota media via teleconference Wednesday. "Our record has been pretty good when he started and finished the football game. We're a different football team with him, and hopefully we can be talking about playing a full game with him in there." Smith isn't sure if Cutler will be able to return to the lineup for this week's game against the Minnesota Vikings (6-4), but signs were encouraging on Wednesday. Cutler took a nasty helmet-to-helmet hit by Houston Texans linebacker Tim Dobbins two weeks ago. He ended up playing one more series before he was replaced and diagnosed with the concussion. Smith said Cutler would have been able to practice on a limited basis Wednesday if the team had practiced -- Chicago had the day off because of the Monday game -- though Cutler still needs to be given clearance by an independent doctor to go through full workouts or play in Sunday's game. "That's hard to say," Smith said about Cutler's status for Sunday. "I just know that he's getting better. If he would have practiced today, he would have been on a limited basis. So, things are looking good, but we just don't know." The Bears season was derailed last year after Cutler broke his thumb. In games started by Cutler, Chicago began the season 7-3 and was in the thick of the playoff race. But backup Caleb Hanie struggled to the tune of a 41.8 quarterback rating and lost his four starts and third-stringer Josh McCown was 1-1 as the Bears fell short of the postseason. In Cutler's 50 starts for Chicago since he was acquired in a 2009 trade with the Denver Broncos, the team is 31-19. Without him, the Bears are 2-6, including 1-6 in the past two seasons. Chicago felt it had properly addressed the backup quarterback situation heading into this season by signing former Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders starter Jason Campbell. But all it took was one game with Campbell filling in to remind the Bears how vital Cutler has become to their success. Pressured all game, Campbell completed 14 of 22 passes for 107 yards, two interceptions and one touchdown. He was 11 of 19 for 94 yards in replacing Cutler against Houston. "We feel like we have a good backup plan, but it is a backup plan," Smith said. "Jason can do some good things, but Jay is our starter. I think he is one of the best quarterbacks playing the game, and we are a different football team with him. Our record has been pretty good when he started and finished the football game. We're a different football team with him, and hopefully we can be talking about playing a full game with him in there." Cutler hasn't put up his the numbers he's used to, but the team has won with him. He ranks 24th in the league with an 80.4 quarterback rating and has completed only 59.2 percent of his throws for 1,814 yards, 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Meanwhile, Cutler is 5-1 in his career against the Vikings, with a 100.8 quarterback rating and a 65.4 percent completion rate. Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.

Bears Injury Report: Jay Cutler Practicing, Could Start Sunday

Jay Cutler missed Monday night's game against the San Francisco 49ers and the Bears lost.  Chicago can't afford for Cutler to miss much more time.  This is not to say back-up quarterback Jason Campbell caused the team to lose - the Bears' defense can take credit for that - but Chicago needs as much offensive help as they can get.  They may get that this weekend as...

Jay Cutler unsure of status for game against Minnesota

“I don’t know, we’ll see,” Cutler said when asked if he would play in Sunday’s game. “Going through the process, still a few things to go through this week and we’ll see how it goes. “Got to see some more doctors. Got to go out on the field and make sure you can exert yourself, and it’s a personal thing making sure you feel ok.” The Chicago Bears quarterback was...

Jay Cutler Cleared To Resume Practicing

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (concussion) was cleared to start practice, though he still must pass an independent neurologist before he is allowed to play. He is questionable for Sunday's game against Minnesota. Fantasy Spin: One look at backup quarterback Jason Campbells performance as Cutlers replacement shows how much the Bears need their starter back. So do fantasy owners...

Bears Optimistic That Jay Cutler Should Be Back For Week 12

The Bears suffered a terrible defeat to 49ers last night, but they were without QB Jay Cutler who stayed behind after he suffered a concussion back in Week 10. Jason Campbell wasn’t able to get anything going against San Francisco’s defense, but that probably had something to do with the Bears inability to block anyone. Head coach Lovie Smith expressed some optimism that Cutler...

Cutler Expected To Play Sunday

The Bears "anticipate" quarterback Jay Cutler (concussion) will start Sunday against Minnesota since he has met concussion protocol to this point. SOURCE: Jason La Canfora, CBSSports.comFantasy Spin:Cutler still has to pass an independent concussion test. We'll keep track of this situation as Sunday draws closer.

Report: Cutler on track to start; Carimi benched by Bears

Reports from Chicago on Thanksgiving Day indicated that quarterback Jay Cutler will start Sunday against Minnesota and that right tackle Gabe Carimi has been benched. According to, Cutler was limited in practice Thursday but has met the concussion protocol and, barring setbacks, should be able to play against the Vikings. Backup Jason Campbell, who started Monday...

Week 12 NFL Power Rankings, Chicago Bears Edition

Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith walks off the field after losing to the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on Monday, November 19, 2012. (Chris Sweda/ Chicago Tribune) Here are the Week 12 Bears power rankings from various sites around the web: ESPN: #6 (Last week: #3) Analysis, “Division lead gone, schedule remains tough. Jay Cutler or no, the Bears...

Vikings-Bears Preview

Facing a potential three-game losing streak, the Chicago Bears are hoping for Jay Cutler's return. The Minnesota Vikings surely don't share that sentiment. With Cutler's status still up in the air, the Bears may have to rely on a better performance from backup Jason Campbell as they try to continue their dominance of the rested Vikings on Sunday at Soldier Field. Cutler...

Chicago Bears/Pittsburgh Steelers: Quarterback Aches

After an embarrassing loss on Monday Night Football, the Chicago Bears have a record of 7-3 and are in second place behind the Green Bay Packers via a tiebreaker. That should sound familiar to Bears fans as the team was also 7-3 last year.But a year ago this week, Quarterback Jay Cutler broke his thumb on his throwing hand trying to make a tackle against the San Diego Chargers. Without...

Vikes need strong pass rush in tough next 2 games

(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By DAVE CAMPBELL AP Pro Football Writer The Minnesota Vikings must play perhaps their best yet this season to emerge from the last six games with a playoff spot, let alone a winning record. The defensive line will have a big part in this. They visit Chicago on Sunday and Green Bay the week after, facing the NFC North co-leaders...

49ers teach Bears — and us — lesson

It takes more than talent and schemes to be in the elite in the NFL -- in all sports, really. There's a certain body language, too. You have to try to take something. You have to reach out. You have to lean forward. Otherwise, you're just covering up and asking to be hit. Or you're the guy driving 45 mph down the middle lane, not trying to get anywhere so much as just...

Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 12

After a quiet few weeks, chaos has resumed in the Top 12 with teams flying up and down the board.  And folks, there's a new #1 in town... #1 - New England Patriots Who looked better than the Patriots last week?  Nobody.   Who looked like they belonged to even be mentioned in the same sentence as the Patriots last week?  The Niners, maybe?  But San Fran was beating...

Five Players to Watch: Week 12

Monday night in San Francisco, nothing went right for the Bears in their 32-7 loss against the 49ers. Offensively the team struggled without starting quarterback Jay Cutler and the defense that has been so strong this season seemed to disappear against a team being led by an inexperienced quarterback. The Bears will have a chance to redeem themselves this Sunday when the Minnesota...
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