From Comcast SportsNetLAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler plans to treat Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers like any other, even with bruised ribs."I'm not concerned at all," Cutler said Wednesday at Halas Hall. "I think by Sunday it'll all be cleared up. I'll be fine."Cutler suffered the injury Monday night on a sack by Detroit's Ndamukong Suh. Cutler said he regularly wears a flak jacket and plans to wear one again against Carolina."I was lucky, I think," Cutler said of the hit. "It was awkward. I sort of got bent over his knee a little bit. You want to try to stay away from those as much as possible."Suh has a reputation for dirty hits, but Cutler insisted there was nothing illegal about the sack even if it looked ugly."It was like a wrestling move a little bit," Cutler said. "(Suh) plays hard. It's out of the pocket. He's playing football. "I don't have a problem with that, I really don't. I don't think it was dirty. He plays an aggressive style of football. That's just who he is."Teammate Brandon Marshall expressed a different opinion immediately after the game by criticizing Suh on Twitter. He hadn't changed his mind about the hit on Cutler by Wednesday."I'm not going to back off on that," he said. "I already said what I have to say, but I think Jay is in a position with you (media) guys that anything he says may be taken the wrong way. So I think it's important for his teammates to maybe speak for him at times. I'm around Jay every single day on and off the field so I know how he feels. And for me, I just think it wasn't a good football play."Offensive coordinator Mike Tice doubts he'll limit the game plan due to Cutler's injury."I was a little cautious obviously once he got hurt, and didn't want to expose him and really throw the ball down the field except for when we were getting pressed," he said. "But no, he's ready to go."Cutler has been sacked 19 times this season, fifth-most in the league.Tice thought the bye week and 15 days between games may have taken a toll on his offense's timing in blocking and in the passing game against Detroit. The Bears hadn't allowed more than two sacks in three straight games before Detroit had five."Just not as crisp," he said. "We felt a little off. Guys hadn't been hitting in a while, although we went in pads in practice a number of times."Cutler has scrambled for 56 yards the past two games. He said he won't necessarily adjust his style of play due to the injury. Playing through hits and knowing how to avoid them is part of the game, he said."It's just natural, you kind of learn how to take hits as a quarterback throughout the years," Cutler said. "I took some shots and playing here I've taken some shots."You learn how to do it, but in the same sense you've got to play your game. You've got to play your style of football and running around, trying to make plays is kind of part of my game. So it's risk, reward."
BOSTON – The NBA has seen its share of early-season injuries, some resulting in guys out for the season (Gordon Hayward) while others missing just a couple games (Al Horford out two games with a concussion).
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And then there’s Kyrie Irving, who suffered a facial fracture that kept him for one game. He was supposed to wear a plastic protective mask for a couple weeks. Instead, it lasted one game and part of another before Irving decided to ditch it.
Kyrie’s mask got me to thinking … who are the best masked men in the NBA?
Today's Starting Five will include the top 5 masked men in the annals of NBA history, in addition to the top 5 teams, MVP candidates, rookies and defenders:
TOP 5 MASKED MEN
1. Rip Hamilton, Detroit – Worn initially for protection, his mask became an iconic look for the three-time All-star.
2. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers – Mask worn in 2012, the last year Bryant appeared in the playoffs.
3. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City – He looked and played like a superhero in his first game with a mask in 2015, tallying 49 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists in a win over Philly.
4. LeBron James – Ever the fashion-forward one, James wore a black, carbon-fiber mask to protect his broken nose in 2014.
5. Kyrie Irving - He played with a mask for 19 games in 2013, averaging 24.5 points and 47.5 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from 3-point range.
TOP 5 MVP CANDIDATES
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee – The addition of Eric Bledsoe has helped rack up some wins, strengthen Antetokounmpo’s chances atop the MVP leaderboard.
2. Kevin Durant, Golden State – Shooting better than 50 percent from the field, Durant has stepped his passing game (career-high 5.0 assists now) up this season while continuing to pile up the wins.
3. James Harden, Houston – Not having Chris Paul around most of this season and still winning, is a reminder of how Harden has played at a consistently high level against all comers.
4. LeBron James, Cleveland – Three straight wins and the Cavs are well on their way to getting back into the thick of things, with LeBron leading the way.
5. Al Horford, Boston – In his last three games, he’s shooting 76.6 percent and has been a central figure in Boston’s rise to the top of the NBA standings.
TOP 5 ROOKIES
1. Ben Simmons, Philadelphia - He has eight double-doubles and a pair of triple-doubles to his credit this season. He’s the rookie everyone is chasing now.
2. Dennis Smith Jr., Dallas - You have to watch this guy play. Would be getting a lot more pub if the Mavs had a better record.
3. Jayson Tatum, Boston - Had a rough start against the Warriors, but bounced back and made key plays down the stretch helping Boston get the win.
4. Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers - The late first-round pick has been an absolute Godsend to the Lakers, able to contribute in a multiple of ways.
5. Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers - He has been up and down like most rookies. But his court vision alone will keep him on the floor for many years to come.
TOP 5 DEFENDERS
1. Al Horford, Boston - He’s the best defender on the NBA’s best team defensively. It makes sense for Horford to be the pace-setter in this category.
2. Rudy Gobert, Utah - A towering presence, this 7-foot-2 big man will once again be a top-3 finisher when it comes to the league’s highest defensive honor.
3. Draymond Green, Golden State - The reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Green is the rare player who can defend all five positions at a fairly high level.
4. Andre Roberson, Oklahoma City - His ability to defend guards as well as switch out defensively is a huge plus to the Thunder.
5. Aron Baynes, Boston - You will be hard-pressed to find anyone who utilizes the NBA’s rule of verticality better than Baynes.
TOP 5 TEAMS
1. Boston – Winning 14 games, that’s one thing. But to beat Golden State along the journey? That’s special.
2. Golden State – Loss to Boston be damned, the Warriors are still the team everyone emulates … even now.
3. Houston – Can score with the best of them, but until they defend at a high level their success will remain limited primarily to the regular season.
4. Minnesota – It’s still early, but it’s hard to imagine the Timberwolves going anywhere but up the Western Conference standings.
5. Detroit – Outside of Boston, there may not be a bigger surprise in the NBA thus far than Detroit.
The Patriots will be without center David Andrews on Sunday when they play the Raiders in Mexico City. Andrews, who hasn’t all practice all week with an illness, is one of four Pats listed as out on the injury report released Friday.
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Offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, who didn’t play last week against the Broncos is also out, along with wide receiver Chris Hogan and special teams captain Matthew Slater. Offensive linemen Ted Karras and Joe Thuney each took reps at center so one of them will likely start in Andrews’ absence. LaAdrian Waddle filled in for Cannon and performed well last week vs. Denver.
Here’s the full injury report for the Patriots and Raiders: