No surgery for Cutler, but injuries hit Bears defense hard
As it turns out, the sprained right thumb that knocked quarterback Jay Cutler out of Monday night's disastrous 29-14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles was not the most significant injury the 0-2 Chicago Bears suffered.
Cutler is expected to miss some time, but he will avoid surgery -- like he had in 2011 for a similar injury -- at least for now.
"To my knowledge right now, no (surgery)," coach John Fox said Tuesday. "But to eliminate it down the road, I'm not a doctor, so I can't tell you that -- other than it doesn't appear like that at this point."
While that thumb injury five years ago kept Cutler out of the final six games, he hasn't been ruled out for Sunday night's road game against the Dallas Cowboys. If Cutler cannot play, backup Brian Hoyer would get the call.
Hoyer completed 9 of 12 passes for 78 yards in relief of Cutler on Monday night for a 91.7 passer rating.
"We'll just take it day to day," Fox said of Cutler's availability. "Brian Hoyer stepped in, and I thought did a pretty good job. We'll evaluate that (Wednesday) and split up practice as need be."
The more significant injuries were on the defensive side of the ball. Inside linebacker Danny Trevathan, expected to be an impact player in the middle of a rebuilt defense, also suffered a sprained thumb against Philadelphia, and he will have surgery Wednesday morning.
Trevathan, who will not be placed on injured reserve, is expected to miss multiple games.
Outside linebacker Lamarr Houston, who didn't start either of the first two games but led the Bears with 8 sacks last season, suffered a torn ACL in his left knee that will end his season.
Nose tackle Eddie Goldman, another of the young players expected to bolster the middle of the defense, was carted off in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury, an indication he won't be back soon.
A secondary that already was without cornerback Kyle Fuller, who is still working his way back from Aug. 11 arthroscopic knee surgery, took additional hits.
Starting safety Adrian Amos and nickel cornerback Bryce Callahan both are in the concussion protocol and neither finished the game. Chris Prosinski, who played when Amos left, suffered a calf contusion.
Cutler's injury occurred early in the game. His inability to grip the football contributed to his interception and lost fumble, which accounted for 2 of the Bears' 3 turnovers.
That led to questions of whether Cutler should have been pulled earlier.
"Those things are hard," Fox said. "(If) medical people come to you and say, 'He can't go,' then he can't go. I don't know if he was left in any longer than anyone could've guessed. Our training staff comes to you and says, 'He's got a thumb injury.' That's when we made our move."
The injury situation leaves Fox's winless team short-handed and scrambling to remain relevant.
"I've always been of the belief that tough times don't last, tough people do, and injuries are a part of that," Fox said. "We'll figure it out. I like our roster, I like our choices, and we'll do everything we can to get everybody ready for Dallas."
That should be a monumental undertaking, given the poor performance of a healthy team in the loss to the Eagles.
"(Monday) night was not acceptable," Fox said. "Our fans were great, the atmosphere was great, the stage was great. We weren't, and we have to get it fixed."
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