It’s a collective gasp from Bears fans, as quarterback Jay Cutler reportedly suffered a broken thumb on his right hand which may require season ending surgery. The Chicago Tribune’s Vaughn McClure is reporting via multiple sources that the injury will sideline Cutler for 6-8 weeks, which would essentially end his season unless the Bears can continue rolling and extend their season into mid-January. The Bears do not plan to put Cutler on IR.
Cutler suffered the injury when he was blocked trying to make the downfield tackle on his intercepted throw intended for Johnny Knox. Check out the replay of the interception and Cutler’s tackle here. After the interception, he only threw two more passes to close out the game (both completions).
UPDATE: NBC 5 Chicago is reporting that the injury may have occurred in the 2nd quarter, just 5 passes into Cutler’s 31 attempt day.
This is a huge blow to the 7-3 Bears, who are in the thick of the NFC Wild Card race, trying to keep pace with the Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons. It will thrust Caleb Hanie into action for the final 6 games of the regular season (@Oakland, Kansas City, @Denver, Seattle, @Green Bay and @Minnesota).
The last time Hanie saw meaningful action was in relief of Cutler in the NFC Championship game, where he nearly rallied the Bears over the Packers in the second half.
No official word from the Bears yet, so let’s hope for the best.