Jay Cutler started last Sunday night’s game against the Texans, but like every big game the Bears have ever played, he didn’t finish. Now Cutler, as a result of the concussion he suffered in that loss to Houston, the Bears have not cleared Cutler to return to action and he has been officially ruled out for the Bears contest against the 49ers.
Jason Campbell moves up to No. 1 on the Bears quarterback depth chart and recent acquisition Josh McCown is the new backup.
Cutler hasn’t practiced all week and he didn’t return for the second half of the Bears loss at home on Sunday after he was illegally rocked at the end of the first half. Cutler remained in the game to close the second quarter, but he was visibly seen shaking his head, trying to regain focus. It’s incidents like that which has the NFL worried about it’s progression with head injuries, as Cutler had clearly suffered a concussion but he was left in the game.
Not only that, but on the very next play, Cutler scrambled and dove head first for a first down.
A similar incident happened to 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, who appears further along in his recovery than Cutler is. Smith was blasted early in the 49ers’s tie on Sunday with the Rams, but he not only remained in the game, he threw a touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree. Smith didn’t return to the field after that drive and was replaced by Collin Kaepernick.
Unlike Cutler, Smith has practiced this week in a red non-contact jersey. It’s not a lock that he’s starting, but he hasn’t been ruled out yet either.