Bulls

Cutler to have ribs re-examined Tuesday after vicious sack

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Cutler to have ribs re-examined Tuesday after vicious sack

This was part of the grand plan all offseason when the Bears spent heavily for former Washington and Oakland starting quarterback Jason Campbell. They just hoped theyd never need him.
 
But quarterback Jay Cutler was run down and sacked by Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in the second quarter. He stayed down, head on the turf for some minutes before running off the field under his own power.
 
He was back after a play run by Campbell but lasted only one more series before going into the locker room for evaluation of what clearly was a painful blow to his ribs.
 
I feel all right now, he said after the game but anticipating soreness to come. I think later in the week is going to be a little bit difficult.
 
Coach Lovie Smith, who said Cutler would have further tests and examinations done on Tuesday, did not call Suhs hit dirty although one angle appeared to show Suh pulling Cutlers arm on the way down to allow him a better path to pile-drive Cutler into the turf.
 
It was simply a football play, said Suh, who went over later while Cutler was still down to check in with him. I couldnt control my momentum, especially at high speed.
 
Painful times
 
Cutler said he was wearing a flak jacket but that didnt prevent the effects of Suhs 300-plus pounds landing squarely on top of him.
 
Cutlers time in Chicago has been anything but pain-free. He missed his only NFL game in 2010 after suffering a concussion in a nine-sack first half against the New York Giants.
 
His NFC Championship game that season ended with a knee injury before halftime. Last year the Bears were 7-3 when Cutler fractured his right wrist on a tackle against the San Diego Chargers.
 
The subsequent performances of backup Caleb Hanie sent the Bears into free agency for Campbell, who signed for one year.
 
Enter Campbell
 
Campbell came in for the one snap after Cutlers injury, then finished out the first half. He completed his only pass of the game, to Matt Forte, the first pass he as thrown in a game since last October when he suffered a broken collarbone in a game against the Cleveland Browns.
 
It felt good to get in for a little bit, let everybody know Im still around, Campbell said, laughing. I warmed up after halftime but he felt like he could go so I just kept loose on the sidelines in case I was needed. Its little different role but it felt good to contribute.
 
One contribution was a five-yard gain on his first snap, being flushed from the pocket and taking off in his best impersonation of Robert Griffin III.
 
I cut out like I was trying to get 100 yards rushing, he said. I was just trying to pick up positive yards. And I was thinking maybe go for about 40 yards, you know, just to get my legs loosened up.

Cutler was grabbed awkwardly and came down hard on his right arm.

He was in obvious pain before departing for one play at first and then missing the end of the second quarter.

Three Things to Watch: Bulls dance with Warriors

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Three Things to Watch: Bulls dance with Warriors

Is there any better way to break in your new Black Friday television than Bulls-Warriors tonight? We think not. Coverage starts at 9 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live, and the game is also available to stream via the NBC Sports app

Here are three things to keep your eye on: 

1. Not the score. Let's be honest: the Bulls probably won't sneak out a win at the Oracle. In fact, ESPN's matchup predictor only gives Fred Hoiberg's young squad a 2.9 percent chance to come up victorious. UIC has three times better odds against juggernaut Kentucky at Rupp Arena on Sunday, in case you needed some context.  

With the talent gap in mind, though, it will be important for the Bulls to come out with high energy. The Warriors will likely take the contest lightly in the first half, so starting off strong reflects well on the coaching staff and starters. Stay within 10 points by the half, and that's considered a massive triumph. 

2. Lauri Markkanen vs. Draymond Green? Assuming the Dubs start out with Green on Markkanen, this will be rookie's biggest test of the season. Green is an elite defender, capable of wrecking gameplans from the tip. He's physical, quick and athletic. 

Markkanen is coming off two duds on the West Coast trip, but his aggressiveness hasn't wavered. It'll be important for him to continue to attack even with the reigning Defensive Player of the Year hounding him. 

3. Steph, KD and Klay doin' work. The Bulls offense hasn't exactly been a thing of beauty through the first 16 games. Their offensive rating is a brutal 94.4, ranked last in the NBA. Golden State, on the other hand, sits at the top with a rating of 113.1. 

Take some time to admire the skills of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson because when it comes to working cohesively on offense, they've set the gold standard. 

What Chicago sports fans should be thankful for

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USA TODAY

What Chicago sports fans should be thankful for

Families gather and people talk about things they are thankful for on Thanksgiving, but what are Chicago sports fans happy for now?

Raised expectations on the North Side

Got to be thankful that a “disappointing” season is winning the division and losing in the NLCS. The expectations have skyrocketed, and that’s thanks to a ridiculous nucleus of bats and a steady front office. Not many clubs can say that. Also, though, it’s important to be appreciative of the Wrigley bar stretch. They may charge $8 for a Miller Lite, but it’s always a damn good party.

Javy tags, too. Don't forget Javy tags.

Rebuild sparking hope in White Sox fans

Where to begin? Obviously, be thankful for the plethora of young talent that will soon take over the South Side. Be thankful for Avi Time (while you still can). Be thankful that taking your friends or family to a game won’t cause you to take out a second mortgage. Be thankful for the 2020 World Series and, of course, 2020 MVP Eloy Jimenez. But most importantly, be thankful that Rick Hahn’s phone stays buzzing.

Eddie O back in the booth for the Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are having a rough start to the season, but at least Eddie Olczyk is back in the booth. The longtime Blackhawks broadcaster returned to the booth on Oct. 18 after missing time while undergoing chemotherapy treatments for colon cancer.

With some of the key names from the Blackhawks’ title runs either leaving or being unable to play this season (in the case of Marian Hossa), Blackhawks fans are probably thankful to see a familiar face and hear a familiar voice during games.

Lauri Markkanen leading the Bulls rebuild

OK, there’s not much to be thankful for about the current Bulls team. At 3-13, the Bulls are tied for the fewest wins in the NBA (maybe in the long-term that’s something to be thankful for as well). However, Zach LaVine’s pending debut after his eventual return from injury should help create some excitement.

The thing Bulls fans really should be thankful for this year is the play of rookie Lauri Markkanen. The 20-year-old leads the team in scoring (14.6 points per game) and rebounds (8.3 per game) while shooting at a high percentage (34.2 percent on threes and 50.6 percent on twos). It’s only the beginning of the Bulls’ rebuild, but Markkanen is a good start.

Mitchapalooza

If a few things broke the Bears’ way, Chicagoans could have been grateful that the team was finally out of the cellar. Instead, we’ll settle for the fact that there seems to be some building blocks already in place. Mitchell Trubisky, Tarik Cohen, Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks seem to fit that category. Also, some may be thankful that this is likely John Fox’s last season at the helm.

Fire ending a playoff drought

After finishing dead last in MLS in 2015 and 2016, the Fire were one of the most improved teams in the league in 2017. After posting the third best record in the league, the Fire made a first playoff appearance since 2012.

The playoff run didn’t last long with the Fire losing a play-in game at home, but the arrival of Bastian Schweinsteiger and the league’s leading goal-scorer, Nemanja Nikolic, helped fill the stadium with six sellouts and gave Fire fans something to cheer for.