Let the quarterback controversy begin. Well may be the controversy can wait until after the Monday Night when quarterback Jason Campbell walks off the field after throwing 5 touchdown passes without any turnovers in the Bears’ blowout victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Or may be there won’t be any controversy at all. May be Bears fans will be clamoring for quarterback Jay Cutler to return after Campbell fails to ignite an offense that has essentially been in hibernation since Week 1 of the National Football League regular season.
Regardless of the the outcome on Monday, Campbell will be the Bears starting quarterback against the 49ers. A team spokesman for the Bears announced on Friday morning that Cutler will has been ruled out for Monday’s game.
The Bears can afford to be without Cutler against the 49ers. Regardless of who the Bears were playing this week, the Bears have made the right decision in sitting Cutler the week after suffering a concussion against the Houston Texans. The goal for Bears is not to prove that they belong in the discussion with the top tier teams in the NFC by beating the 49ers. The goal for the Bears is obviously to be one of the last two NFL teams playing this season with their final game in New Orleans. In order for the Bears to do that, the team has to ensure the long-term health of their best players. Despite what some believe, Cutler is one of the Bears best players. I’ll much rather have Cutler ready and 100% when the team takes on the Minnesota Vikings on November 25. Yes, there is disappointment that Cutler will not be taking the field for the Bears on Monday Night Football against the 49ers. The belief was that the Bears’ games against the Texans and 49ers would have truly identified where the Bears stand as contenders this season. That is not going to be the case as the Bears were without Cutler for the second half of the Texans’ game, and will be without Cutler for the entire game against the 49ers.
In all honestly, the outcome of the 49ers game will have minimal impact on where the Bears’ stand in the NFC. Granted a loss to the 49ers would mean that the Bears could lose their NFC North division lead over the Green Bay Packers. But that would be assuming that the Packers will win against the Detroit Lions. That scenario would also be assuming that the Bears are going to lose against the 49ers.
Jason Campbell should not be discredited as starting quarterback in the National Football League. Prior to this season, Campbell was an established starting quarterback having started for both the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders in his career. In fact, one could argue that Campbell may be a better fit for the Bears’ current state of their offense than Cutler. The one thing that Campbell does not do that is fairly evident in Cutler’s game is turnover the ball. In fact, Campbell’s interception rate of 2.3% for his career is fourth among active Quarterbacks. Those other three quarterbacks? Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Matt Ryan. That is good company for Campbell to be in. While Campbell would not be the reason why the Bears may beat the 49ers on Monday, he certainly will not be the reason why the team loses on Monday if that is indeed the outcome.