The Chicago Bears were bracing for an injury to Jay Cutler long before the season started.
Now, they’ll see just how prepared they are.
Cutler will miss Monday night’s game at San Francisco because of a concussion, leaving the Bears without their starting quarterback. The team announced the decision Friday, meaning Jason Campbell will start against the 49ers.
The Philadelphia Eagles also will be without their starting quarterback this weekend. Michael Vick has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins because of a concussion. Nick Foles, a rookie out of Arizona, will start.
For now, the Bears think they have enough to get by without Cutler. They brought in Campbell in the offseason for a situation like this, and he found out before Thursday’s practice that he’ll be starting.
“You definitely don’t want to see anyone get hurt or injured in this business,” said Campbell, who’s made 70 starts in his career with Washington and Oakland. “We understand it is a tough sport. Sometimes, things like that happen.”
Players who have been diagnosed with a concussion need to be cleared by team physicians and an independent neurological consultant before they are allowed to return, under NFL safety protocols. It’s possible that the Bears could hold Cutler out even if he gets the OK from doctors.
When asked about that, all coach Lovie Smith would say is: “He’s not playing this week, and that’s about as much as I’m going to go into it.”
Smith said the Bears hope to have Cutler back for the game against Minnesota on Nov. 25. The Bears play host to the Seattle Seahawks a week after that.
Foles, who practiced with the Eagles’ first team all week, will get his first NFL start. He was 22 of 32 for 219 yards with a touchdown and an interception after replacing Vick during last week’s 38-23 loss to Dallas.
PAY UP, FELLAS
The NFL fined 17 players for their actions during Week 10 games – and one referee for what he said during a game the previous week.
Referee Tony Corrente was fined one game check for uttering some obscenities with his microphone on during a Nov. 4 game between Indianapolis and Miami. Corrente inadvertently left his microphone open during a conference with members of the officiating crew and used obscenities that were heard by the crowd and the CBS television audience.
The largest fines for players were $25,000 for illegal hits by Jaguars defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali and Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes. Raiders linebacker Aaron Curry, a former Seahawk, was fined a total of $23,625 for a pair of illegal hits.
Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall will play against the Ravens after missing four games with an Achilles tendon injury. … Redskins receiver Pierre Garon (foot) is expected to play against the Eagles. … Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (foot) is doubtful to play against the Browns. … Forty-niners coach Jim Harbaugh returned to work one day after undergoing a minor surgical procedure for an irregular heartbeat.