Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler suffered a thumb injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday's contest against the San Diego Chargers. The team has not made any official announcement regarding the extent of the injury and will not do so until tomorrow.
Yet Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune reported on his Twitter feed that sources have confirmed the thumb is broken.
McClure's Twitter post:
"Two sources confirm that Cutler will be sideline for 6 to 8 weeks, but the Bears have no plans to place him on injured reserve."
The reasoning behind keeping him active is that if Caleb Hanie can guide the Bears into the playoffs, Cutler could potentially return for the postseason.
Hanie is well known to Bears fans after nearly leading the team to a comeback victory over the Green Bay Packers in last year's NFC Championship game. Yet Hanie, a former undrafted free agent, has thrown just 14 career regular season passes. His inexperience will have a marked affect on an offense that was hitting just beginning to hit its stride.
We'll have the official word tomorrow but everyone should prepare themselves for the worst. This isn't the end of the season, as the Bears sit in good position in the NFC playoff race at 7-3. The team will just have to lean on its defense and special teams and hope Cutler can return for the playoffs.
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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.