For the Chicago Bears, the focus this week is once again on the health of their starting quarterback. By now, it is known that Jay Cutler suffered what some believe to be his sixth concussion of his career dating back to his days as a starting quarterback in college for Vanderbilt. Regardless of how many concussions a player has sustained during his playing career, the Bears handle concussed players with extreme caution. Meaning that Cutler, even if he is medically cleared to play Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers, will not be the Bears starting quarterback in their next game if he is not 100 percent.
Based from the precedent that was set during the 2010 season when Cutler missed the game against Carolina Panthers after sustaining a concussion during the previous game against the New York Giants. For that reason, there was much doubt to the notion that Cutler would be the Bears’ starting quarterback come next Monday when the team takes the field in San Francisco against the 49ers.
At least one national report has already labeled Cutler as doubtful to play next Monday. John Clayton of ESPN reported on Tuesday that Cutler’s status for Monday’s game against the 49ers is doubtful. Though to be honest, that should not come as a surprise to Bears fans. Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith told reporters on Monday that Cutler’s status is unclear. Unclear operates as a synonym for in doubt. Cutler’s status for Monday’s game will not be clear or in doubt until the Cutler undergoes the required post-concussion evaluations. Until we reach that point, any report on Cutler’s status would simply be an educated guess. Nonetheless, I do expect that Cutler will miss Monday’s game and Jason Campbell will be the Bears’ starting quarterback against the 49ers.
Speaking of which, one of the last things that Bears fans should worry about heading into Monday’s game against the 49ers is the fact that Campbell will be the starting quarterback. It is foolish to point the finger at Campbell for the reason why the Bears lost to the Houston Texans on Sunday. Campbell entered the game on Sunday night with little to no preparation, and honestly with the exception of the Bears’ final offensive series, Campbell played relatively well. Campbell has experience in the National Football League as a starting quarterback with both the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders. With a week to prepare as the the starting quarterback for the Bears’ game against the 49ers next Monday, Campbell should be in a position to run the Bears’ offense with some degree of success.
Regardless of whether or not Campbell is the quarterback or even if Cutler were to be the starting quarterback on Monday, the Bears’ offensive success may be limited by the 49ers’ defense.