Bears

Bears steamrolled by Cardinals, lose Jay Cutler in the process

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Bears steamrolled by Cardinals, lose Jay Cutler in the process

It's not how you start, it's how you finish. 

However, the Bears didn't follow that old adage as they followed up their inauspicious start with a duplicate finish as they were annihilated by the Arizona Cardinals, 48-23, at Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon.

And to make matters worse, the blemish on their now 0-2 record isn't the only thing they suffered in defeat: Bears starting quarterback Jay Cutler (8-for-9, 120 yards) could be out for the foreseeable future after suffering a hamstring injury in the first half

Late in the second quarter with the Bears trailing the Cardinals, 21-14, Cutler threw a pass that was intended for tight end Martellus Bennett (four receptions, 48 yards), who appeared to have stopped his route, and Arizona defensive back Tony Jefferson stepped in to make an easy interception and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown. While trying to make the tackle, Cutler appeared to have landed awkwardly on his shoulder. He immediately went into the locker room with the team training staff and the Bears ruled him out for the remainder of the game with a hamstring injury.

[MORE: Bears: Jay Cutler out vs. Cardinals after suffering hamstring injury]

The Cutler injury was just the cherry on the top to a brutal day that seemed destined for failure from the start.

Cardinals rookie running back David Johnson returned the opening kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown to put the Bears in a 7-0 hole before they even got their hands on the ball. 

Before the injury Cutler managed to keep the Bears in the game with a near perfect start. Late in the first quarter, Cutler connected with Josh Bellamy (one reception, 48 yards) who was wide open down the left sidelines for his first career NFL reception resulting in a 48-yard touchdown to even the game.

The Cardinals (2-0) quick-strike offense answered the Bellamy touchdown just over two minutes later when Carson Palmer (17-of-24, 185 yards, four touchdowns) connected with wide receiver Jaron Brown for a six-yard score. The play was set up in the red zone when Michael Floyd drew a pass interference penalty inside the 10-yard line on Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller.

A seesaw battle for nearly 25 minutes was knotted up for the second and final time when Bears rookie running back Jeremy Langford (six carries, 21 yards) scampered into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14-14 early in the second quarter.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]

That would be the closest the Bears came as the Cardinals outscored the hosts, 34-9, over the final 34 minutes of the contest, highlighted by a resurgence from Cardinals veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald who had eight receptions for 112 yards and three touchdowns. 

Backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen struggled in relief of Cutler, finishing the game 14-of-23 for 121 yards and an interception. 

The Bears tied a franchise record for penalty yards in a single game (170) as they compiled 14 penalties for 170 yards.

Chicago will look to earn its first victory of the John Fox era when they travel to Seattle take on the defending NFC champion Seahawks in Week 3.

Bears place Akiem Hicks on injured reserve

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USA TODAY

Bears place Akiem Hicks on injured reserve

The Chicago Bears placed DL Akiem Hicks on injured reserve (elbow), the team announced Tuesday. In a corresponding move, rookie guard Alex Bars was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster.

Hicks suffered a dislocated elbow in Week 5's loss to the Raiders and was expected to miss a significant amount of time. He'll be eligible to return for the team's final three games in 2019, assuming he recovers in time.

His void in the lineup will likely be filled by Roy Robertson-Harris, who's thrived with more playing time while Bilal Nichols recovered from his hand injury. Nichols is set to return to the lineup Sunday against the Saints.

Hicks' absence was felt in London against Oakland when rookie RB Josh Jacobs ran for 123 yards in a game that Hicks was mostly sidelined for. The Bears will need multiple players, including second-level linebackers like Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan, to step up now that Hicks will be gone for a while.

We'll have more on this developing story.

 

Eddie Jackson says the Bears defense has to 'make a statement game' against Saints

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USA TODAY

Eddie Jackson says the Bears defense has to 'make a statement game' against Saints

The Bears defense gave up a season-high 24 points in the Week 5 loss to the Raiders. The bye week that followed meant they had to stew on that performance for an extra seven days.

Bears safety Eddie Jackson admitted the defense “didn’t hold up” in an interview on the Mully & Haugh Show on 670 The Score on Tuesday morning. It sounds like they are fired up to not have a repeat performance against the Saints.

“We want to get that bad taste out of our mouths,” Jackson said. “Unfortunately, we had to wait for a bye week.

“Now we got to make a statement game here at home.”

That statement game will have to come without stud defensive lineman Akiem Hicks. Hicks got injured in the loss to the Raiders and is expected to miss significant time.

Jackson talked about what Hicks’ absence will mean to the defense.

“That’s a tough loss for us,” Jackson said. “The style of play Akiem brings is hard to fill. Right now we’re doing a good job holding up with guys coming in and stepping up, but at the end of the day that’s Akiem. His resume speaks for itself. What he does speaks for itself. Film, everything. It’s a tough loss, man. We’re hoping to have him back real soon for playoffs or the end of the season. It really hurts us, but we ride with him. He still comes around. He’s still engaged and meetings and things like that.”

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