Monsters of the Migrane: Post-Concussion Monday for Bears

If you woke up with a headache on Monday, consider that there’s little to no chance that it was as bad as Jay Cutler’s.  That one had to be a doosey!   It was a post-concussion Monday at Halas Hall as the Bears came to grips with a devastating 17-3 defeat at the hands of the New York Giants.

Lovie Smith addressed the media and the #1 topic of conversation was status of #6, quarterback Jay Cutler.

Bears coach Lovie Smith expressed optimism in his press conference Monday about Cutler’s status after enduring an NFL record nine sacks in the first half Sunday and leaving the game with symptoms related to a concussion.

“Jay right now – I don’t know if you guys saw him or whatever – but he’s here, and he seemed like he’s in pretty good shape right now,” Smith said. “There are no visual signs or anything that I can tell, where I try not to be the doctor and leave it to our other people. But it seems like he’s OK today.”

When asked about how the Bears would deal with Cutler’s concussion with respect to the league’s policy, Lovie told us how the Bears treat injured players, from Sean Jensen’s Sun Times blog:

The Bears have proven very diligent in dealing with concussions, placing veteran linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer on injured reserve after he showed symptoms of a concussion following the season opener. But, Hillenmeyer admittedly had several concussions before that one.

“If a player has an injury, were going to let him see whoever he needs to,” Smith said. If there’s an expert he needs to see, we don’t quite feel good about our evaluation, we’ll continue to let other people look at him. That’s not the case. If anything, we go beyond the call of duty when it comes to our football players, making sure they don’t go back on the football field unless we all feel good about them doing that.”

So something didn’t seem right about Lovie’s description.  I know that the NFL has put in some pretty strict guidelines when it comes to concussions.

Here’s Neil Hayes to the rescue with the NFL’s official concussion guidelines:

“The statement advises that a player who suffers a concussion should not return to play or practice on the same day if he shows any signs or symptoms of a concussion that are outlined in the return-to-play statement. It further states:

“Once removed for the duration of a practice or game, the player should not be considered for return-to-football activities until he is fully asymptomatic, both at rest and after exertion, has a normal neurological examination, normal neuropsychological testing, and has been cleared to return by both his team physician(s) and the independent neurological consultant. A critical element of managing concussions is candid reporting by players of their symptoms following an injury. Accordingly, players are to be encouraged to be candid with team medical staffs and fully disclose any signs or symptoms that may be associated with a concussion.”

Based on this, it sounds like it’s not up to Jay or the Bears whether or not he plays.  There is supposed to be an evaluation by an independent consultant.  So why can’t Lovie just tell us that?  Why does he have to put up this facade about how the Bears go “beyond the call of duty…”???  For once, can’t we get a shred of trust of the truth.

As for Jay, I’ve heard some rumblings that he quit and just got sick of getting pounded.  That is the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard!  You can say what you want about Cutler, but he’s a competitor and would not quit on the team.


Through the month of October, my usual BEAR DOWN signoff will be in pink to raise awareness for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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Tags: Cutler Concussion Jay Cutler Mike Martz

  • http://MSN rodman

    Your exactly right Lovee is so full of himself. He probably doesn’t even know the exact rules for a concussion. Anyway your right Cutler wouldn’t have quit without being hurt! Our offensive line play on Sunday was the worst i’ve ever witnessed by a Bears team that i can recall in my 40 years. They were in our backfield in 2 seconds every play. Can we even fix this with the players we have, i pesonaly don’t think so, we have some big offensive lineman but apparently they can’t move there feet without tripping. What are your thoughts Boomer, can we fix this? Wowww!!

    • Boomer

      I think this is definitely fixable. I heard plenty of talk in the postgame show about simplifying the protections, changing up the play calling and getting the ball out sooner. There were opportunities for some short gains to get the ball out of his hands quickly, but Cutler was pressing for the home run ball.

  • http://foxsports rich

    I think the Bears hid Jay Cutlers concussion from the packers game and thats why he was so slow to see plays develop.He was hit a couple times to the head and chin during that game.

    • Boomer

      Interesting theory Rich, but I think it’s a stretch. I know the play you’re talking about where he took one right under the chin from Zombo I believe. If he was concussed in the GB game and was still feeling the effects on Sunday night, that’s a pretty serious injury. I would have to believe that it would have been recognized during the week.

      I think it’s more likely that he got his bell rung earlier in the Giants game, but tried to play through it. No one has said in which play he suffered the concussion.

  • http://MSN rodman

    Boomer Thanks for the reply on my questions, i feel better now, really. this has to be a wakeup call for the offensive line.

  • Mr. Pickles

    Alright, I’m starting to come out of my post Bears evisceration funk and look forward to Sunday. I agree with the sentiment that this may have been the worst o-line performance in franchise history but I have a bit of optimism left. It’s not like da Bears haven’t gone up against decent d-lines yet this year. Detroit and GB are both in the top 5 and while Dallas is pretty far down there Demarcus Ware is no slouch and he didn’t have a single sack against the Bears. I think the line is still a mess but I don’t think we’ll see another performance like Sunday. I think Cutler will have to run for his life for the rest of the season (if he is in fact still alive) but I also think he’ll make better reads than he did on Sunday and I think the line will be able to block someone at least once in awhile.

  • windy Cynic

    Boomer, how is this fixable? Magic underwear? Tom Thayer gets so pissed off he calls Jimbo Covert and they crash the party? Seriously dude, How???

    This is a disaster. We all saw this coming.

    Cutler may become David Carr by the end of this season and we’ll all have hope because a new regime will replace Lovie and Friends, Inc.

    But here’s the rub…. that will signal Cutlers 4th consecutive year with a new offense.

    Look at the elite’s out there… Peyton, one system… Tom, one system…. Drew, two systems… Rogers, one system.

    Lost season boys before we can rebuild.

    The super bowl was a curse. Yeah, cynical I know, but I earned the tag.