Bears lose Cutler to groin injury in 45-41 loss

By HOWARD FENDRICH - AP Pro Football Writer
    2013-10-20 17:40

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) - Jay Cutler left the Chicago Bears' 45-41 loss to the Washington Redskins early in the second quarter with a groin injury Sunday, and coach Marc Trestman wasn't sure how long the quarterback might be out.

Asked how seriously Cutler was hurt, Trestman replied: ''I don't have any sense at all. I'm just going to wait and see what the doctors say.''

Cutler is scheduled to have an MRI exam Monday.

''He'll be evaluated when we get back and we'll know more in the next couple days,'' Trestman said. ''It's a groin. It's not a knee. It's not an ankle. It's not a hip.''

Cutler was injured when he was sacked by 333-pound nose tackle Chris Baker with about 10 minutes left in the first half. After the tackle, Cutler stayed down on the ground for a few minutes, and clutched at the top of his left leg.

Eventually, Cutler got up and limped off the field. He soon was walking gingerly along the sideline toward the visitors' locker room.

Chicago's backup quarterback, Josh McCown, came in to replace Cutler.

''When you're close to somebody, and they get hurt, man, your heart just kind of sinks, but at the same time, you've got to process that emotion and move on and get ready to play,'' McCown said. ''So I was bummed, said a prayer, grabbed a helmet, got some throws and got ready to play.''

It was McCown's first appearance in a regular-season NFL game since the final week of the 2011 season, and he did it without the benefit of any first-team practice reps since this season began.

''He's been around the game a lot in this league,'' Trestman said. ''He functioned like a starting quarterback when he stepped in there.''

McCown was 14 for 20 for 204 yards, with one touchdown pass and zero interceptions.

''Josh took over the huddle, moved the football team. ... I didn't ask him what he liked; what he didn't like. I just called the plays according to the plan we had put together,'' Trestman said. ''I thought he functioned very well in the offense.''

McCown's 7-yard touchdown toss to tight end Martellus Bennett put Chicago ahead 41-38 with a little under four minutes remaining in the game. Robert Griffin III then led Washington on a drive capped by a 3-yard TD run by Roy Helu Jr. for the go-ahead points.

McCown also ran four times for 33 yards.

That scrambling did make some teammates nervous: The Bears do not have a third quarterback on the roster. If McCown had needed to leave the game, Bennett would have been the next option, Trestman said.

''You see them talking to Earl and kind of getting him ready, and I'm like, `Oh, yeah, there's nobody else,''' McCown said.

The Bears (4-3), who now have their bye week before facing the Green Bay Packers next, also lost linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) and cornerback Charles Tillman (knee) to injuries in the second half. The Redskins' only significant injury that was announced: Safety Reed Doughty departed in the fourth quarter with a concussion.

In today's NFL, though, might be toughest of all to replace a QB.

''When your starting quarterback goes down, and you are used to him playing, it kind of does something mentally to you,'' Bears running back Matt Forte said.

When Cutler left - on Baker's first career sack - the Redskins were leading 17-10. The hosts were still ahead at halftime, 24-17, with Chicago adding points on Devin Hester's 81-yard punt return for a touchdown.

Initially, the Bears announced that Cutler's return was ''questionable,'' but at halftime, they ruled him out for the day.

Before leaving, Cutler was 3 for 8 for 28 yards and an interception that was returned 29 yards by linebacker Brian Orakpo for a touchdown.

Cutler came into Sunday's game with a 95.2 passer rating and 1,630 yards passing, along with 12 touchdown passes and six interceptions. He earned a 100-plus passer rating in each of Chicago's previous two games and was seeking to top that mark for a third consecutive game within a season for the first time since 2009.

McCown was asked what differences there are between his skills and Cutler's.

''Have you seen him throw?'' McCown said with a grin. ''Obviously, there's a difference with the velocity at which the ball travels when Jay throws it and when I throw it. We have to play the game in different ways.''


Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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