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.