Bears injury woes mount after loss to Eagles but Jay Cutler expected to avoid surgery

Bears injury woes mount after loss to Eagles but Jay Cutler expected to avoid surgery

Jay Cutler’s thumb injury, a ligament problem that was suffered in the loss to the Houston Texans, is expected to keep the quarterback out for as much as a month. Beyond that...

In the meantime the Bears need to make a change at inside linebacker to cover for the loss of Danny Trevathan, undergoing surgery for a thumb injury of his own that coach John Fox said will not be season-ending. And Lamarr Houston’s knee injury is still being described as serious, although the team is waiting on a more complete evaluation of his MRI before making the call on the outside linebacker’s season. Eddie Goldman’s ankle injury becomes another ominous unknown, with Goldman developing into one of the NFL’s top young nose tackles before his injury in a goal-line situation Monday night in the 29-14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The short term is expected to include moving Matt Barkley from practice squad to the regular roster, although Fox and the Bears remain conservative with predicting outcomes, except that Cutler is not expected to play next Sunday in Dallas.

“Not really,” Fox said. “We'll just take it day to day and Brian Hoyer stepped in, and I thought did a pretty good job. We'll evaluate that tomorrow and split up practice as need be.”

Where matters become most intriguing is going forward to the point of a Cutler return.

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The situation vaults Hoyer into the starting lineup, installing a quarterback with a better career winning record than Cutler. And with the organization not committed financially or any other way to Cutler beyond this season, the prospects for both the short and long terms become more than a little intriguing.

By way of background: Overshadowed in the incident where then-coordinator Aaron Kromer in 2014 vented his frustrations with Cutler to a national reporter, was the fact that Kromer and Marc Trestman wanted to stay with Josh McCown when Cutler returned from an injury stint. McCown, not Cutler, was running the offense as drawn up.

The Bears are open to the prospect of moving on from Cutler in 2017, but the chronic issue with that position is that quality options are rare. Hoyer was signed this offseason as part of the win-now foundation of veterans, Hoyer representing a veteran fall-back if Cutler went down, rather than turn to a young pipeline prospect.

To not view this as a de facto audition for Hoyer would be to ignore the obvious, even if Hoyer is obviously not a long-term solution. Hoyer as a place-holder for a young quarterback is one organizational scenario, albeit one with a tinge of desperation. The Bears have neglected the quarterback pipeline for too many years, picking three backup defensive players (linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, defensive backs Deon Bush and Deiondre’ Hall) in the fourth round this draft while Dak Prescott was still on the board. The Bears will see Prescott first hand when they visit Dallas and the Cowboys next Sunday night. GM Ryan Pace hasn’t taken a quarterback with any of his 15 selections over the past two drafts.

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

USA Today

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

The Chicago Bears logo has withstood the test of time. In a sports era full of uniform changes, the Bears have maintained the classic orange 'C' for most of their nearly 100 years in Chicago.

Unfortunately, tradition doesn't equate to popularity.

Chicago's logo ranked 28th in the NFL, according to a recent poll of nearly 1,500 football fans. Only the Redskins (29), Bengals (30), Jets (31) and Browns (32) were worse.

I’m not sure how I feel about the underbite on the “C.” I can see how this would be a polarizing feature of this logo. I wish to an extent that it met up more evenly. I think they could have had the bottom meet up in a more even fashion and still maintained the sharpness, of the “C,” which I like. I don’t mind the point [ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE “C”], without the point it would be super boring. The point actually does add something from a design standpoint that makes it stand out.

Bears fans will take exception with the results. Wins have been hard to come by in recent seasons, but there's still something special about seeing the familiar navy and orange on Sundays in the fall. The 'C' is arguably the biggest part of that. Sure, it's not a complex design overflowing with colors, but it represents a long and storied history. 

It's interesting that each of the bottom five teams have struggled to string together winning seasons. On the flipside, teams like the Saints, Falcons, Rams, Vikings and Eagles rank in the top six. Maybe it's recency bias.

In the NFC North, the Lions rank No. 2 (which is a shocker) and the Packers are No. 20. 

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Former first-round pick Kevin White hasn't caught a break -- or a touchdown -- through the first three years of his career. He has more season-ending injuries than 100-yard games and after an offseason focused on upgrades at wide receiver, White's future in Chicago beyond 2018 is very much in doubt.

Ryan Pace declined the fifth-year option in White's rookie contract, making this a prove-it year for the pass-catcher who once resembled a blend of Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant during his time at West Virginia.

He's getting a fresh start from new coach Matt Nagy.

"He is healthy and he's really doing well," Nagy told Danny Kanell and Steve Torre Friday on SiriusXM's Dog Days Sports. "We're trying to keep him at one position right now so he can focus in on that."

White can't take all the blame for his 21 catches, 193 yards and zero scores through 48 possible games. He's only suited up for five. Whether it's bad luck or bad bone density, White hasn't had a legitimate chance to prove, on the field, that he belongs.

Nagy's looking forward, not backward, when it comes to 2015's seventh pick overall.

"That's gone, that's in the past," Nagy said of White's first three years. "This kid has a new future with us."

White won't be handed a job, however.

"He's gotta work for it, he's gotta put in the time and effort to do it," Nagy said. "But he will do that, he's been doing it. He's a great weapon, he's worked really hard. He has great size, good speed. We just want him to play football and not worry about anything else."