Bears looking at backups points to Cutler missing SF game


Bears looking at backups points to Cutler missing SF game

Coach Lovie Smith keeps information pertaining to injuries to players and their availability for an upcoming game famously private. Between not wishing to give rivals competitive information and restricting how much personal medical information is made revealed, nuclear launch codes sometimes have a better chance of becoming public.

However, whether he will be able to keep the San Francisco 49ers from knowing who will be his starting quarterback Jay Cutler or Jason Campbell for next Mondays game remains to be seen.

Cutler and defensive end Shea McClellin left Sundays game with concussions. Neither are expected to play against the 49ers.

Perhaps the best indication that Cutler will not play was the Bears immediate search for a veteran backup on Monday, expected to be former Bears backup Josh McCown, according to multiple sources.

Were looking at all our options at the quarterback position, Smith said. Hes one of them. Of course, he played good football for us in the final two games of 2011. Were familiar with him.

The nature of concussions is such that the NFL has taken an increasingly strong stance against quick return from that injury.

That includes practicing as well, which could force Smith and staff to make a decision sooner rather than later about the starter.

Yes, it does, Smith said. You want to know as soon as possible of course to let that guy start getting the reps.

The No. 1 quarterback takes the vast majority of practice reps. If Campbell is going to play, he needs to get the work throughout a week of preparation for a defense even more difficult to score on that Houstons.

And if Cutler is going to play, he needs to be cleared conclusively early so he can get his necessary preparation with the rest of the offense.

Concussion protocol

Smith repeated the statement that the Bears have and will always err on the side of keeping injured players out. Concussions have a specific protocol of tests, comparing the results from those tests with a previously established baseline, and determining that a player is symptom-free.

If he is not, he is held out and the process begins again. Cutler had a concussion in an October 2010 game that caused him to miss the game the next weekend.

Smith said that when Cutler began to show symptoms of concussion at halftime Sunday, the Bears removed him from the game.

Every concussion is a little bit different, Smith said. I just know during that game a guy has symptoms, has a concussion, were not going to play him then. Well go through the protocol and once theyve been cleared to come back for practice and play, thats when hell play. Its really as simple as that. Weve already started the process with that.

Preview: Jose Quintana, White Sox look to win sixth straight game on CSN

Preview: Jose Quintana, White Sox look to win sixth straight game on CSN

The White Sox take on the Kansas City Royals on Monday, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Jose Quintana (13-11, 3.21 ERA) vs. Chris Archer (8-19, 4.02 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.

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Making adjustments nothing new for new Bulls star Dwyane Wade

Making adjustments nothing new for new Bulls star Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade has always had eclectic tastes in threads, but considering the career adjustments he’s had to make, the 34-year old might decide to be a tailor when he hangs up his Way of Wade kicks.

Going from point guard to shooting guard after his rookie year? No problem.

Assuaging the sensitive ego of Shaquille O’Neal after O’Neal’s rocky breakup with Kobe Bryant? Child’s play.

Allowing LeBron James to take over his team and his city after two seasons where he averaged 28 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals? Sure, since it meant more rings.

Adjusting to his knees robbing him of his transcendent explosiveness? Excuse him while he walks to meet the media with both knees wrapped in ice — while wearing a smile.

Being introduced first, second or last? Doesn’t matter, as long as Tommy Edwards says “from Chicago” as a nod to Wade’s hometown roots.

So in making the biggest geographical change to date, moving back to Chicago after 13 years in Miami, Wade is prepared to shift again — even if it means being a 3-point shooter, even if it means playing different roles to suit the changing needs of this roster.

“My game translates anywhere,” Wade said after Wednesday’s morning practice, “I’ve played with so many different players before. I’m not worried about that. It’s me trying to understand offense, understand what we’re trying to do. Get to know my teammates. But I know where my sweet spot is, when to get aggressive, etc. One thing I’m trying to get used to is that 3-point shot is going to be open a little bit more for me, and coach is telling me to shoot it. That’s a little new era for me.”

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Bulls fans probably remember Wade hitting his share of devastating 3-pointers against them over the years, even though his 386 career makes only account for .05 percent of his made field goals.

There was the four-point play in Game 5 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals at the United Center when Wade’s Heat stormed back late to clinch a trip to The Finals. Very few can forget the heartbreaking, buzzer-beating running triple after a blindside steal from John Salmons in the 2008-09 season, so it’s not that he lacks the ability.

The Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors found that out last spring when he hit 12 in 14 playoff games for the Heat.

“In the playoffs they take things away, right,” Wade said. “In the regular season, you play so many games teams sometimes don’t get a long time to prepare for you, so they may try and take one thing away.”

The logic was followed by a little hubris, earned considering he’s risen to such heights without having to rely on it.

“For me a lot of people have talked about me not shooting threes, but no one has been able to take away what I wanted to do. So why would I do something else?” Wade queried. “But then when you take it away I have the ability to knock it down. I’m not Doug McDermott. I’m not Niko (Mirotic). But I’m comfortable with the shot, and I’m going to shoot it. I know it’s going to be there, so I have a better chance of knocking it down. Coach has been on me about it.”

Wade will have to take the shot to keep defenses from sagging too far down on Jimmy Butler drives, and the hope is Butler goes back to shooting 38 percent from the long line as he did in 2014-15 as opposed to the 31 percent he shot last season.

For things to work in a potentially awkward situation, Wade has to be willing to step a little outside himself and seems prepared to.

“Normally I had to be the guy that would put it on the floor, but more so than that just pick my spots,” Wade said. “Understand when to be aggressive, but I’m a play-maker as well. I’m always looking to make plays for my guys.’’

Wade understands Fred Hoiberg’s offense is more equal opportunity than isolation-based but knows the instances will come when he must be the primary scorer — particularly late when he’s one of the league’s premier fourth-quarter scorers.

“Last year I averaged 19, the other 21.5. I can score, that's fine with me,” Wade said. “I'm willing to do whatever it takes. Scoring is one of those things that comes natural. It just depends on how high field-goal percentage I shoot. I'm not concerned about that. If coach wants me to score, then thank you.”