Bears may have lost game, but Cutler the concern


Bears may have lost game, but Cutler the concern

It was halftime when Bears quarterback Jay Cutler approached backup Jason Campbell.

Jay told me, Hey, get ready. Im not sure now of the status of my injury. Just get ready to go out and play the second half, Campbell recalled. From that point on, the coaches came out and said, Youre in. Lets roll.

Cutler suffered a concussion in the Bears 13-6 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday night, and its uncertain what his status is entering next Mondays game against the San Francisco 49ers. It was a tough blow for the Bears, who couldnt overcome another stale offensive evening on a sloppy night at Soldier Field.

But it was a tougher blow for Cutler, who took a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit from Texans middle linebacker Tim Dobbins near the end of the first half. Cutler was down for a few moments before popping back up. He finished the first half before telling Campbell at halftime that the backup better be prepared.

Dobbins saw the hit differently.

I did not hit him in his head and actually he ran into me. I just felt like he was going to take off and run with the ball and I thought he was past the line, Dobbins said. I was very surprised when he went down to the ground but I hope hes all right. He is definitely a tough quarterback.

Coach Lovie Smith was hopeful that Cutler could return next week, but you cant go that far. We just know he had symptoms, which started clearing up after the half. When a guy doesnt finish the game, youve just got to go with that right now.

Asked if he could tell Cutler had a concussion, Campbell said no, not right off the bat.

You know, Jays a tough guy. I think he tried to keep fighting and fighting through it, Campbell continued. Unfortunately he wasnt able to keep it going. You just try to make the right decision and do the right thing at this point in the season.

Yes, it is about doing the right thing. Ironically, Cutlers concussion comes on the night the Bears and U.S. Army co-hosted a pregame forum to discuss concussionstraumatic brain injury. The Bears also lost defensive end Shea McClellin to a concussion early in Sundays game.

And it was a tough weekend for other quarterbacks as well. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick sustained a concussion, as did Alex Smith of the 49ers -- the Bears next opponent.

But the Bears concern is obviously for Cutler. Hes sustained his share of nasty hits and has certainly proven to be one of the toughest players in the league. Still, the hits -- and head injuries -- start to add up. This is Cutlers second concussion, the last coming on Oct. 3, 2010, against the New York Giants when Cutler was sacked nine times in the first half. At one point in that game, Cutler wobbled toward the wrong sideline.

Hes a tough guy and obviously we want him on the field, Bears center Roberto Garza said. Nobody can question his toughness. We look to have him back soon.

But if Cutler cant return next week, the Bears are confident in what Campbell can do.

Thats why we got Jason. Were better off now than we were last year at this time, Brian Urlacher said. Hopefully hell be back soon. But Jason did a good job. Its a tough situation throwing the ball in those conditions. It cant be easy. I thought he came in and did a good job for us.

Michigan loses cornerback Jeremy Clark to season-ending ACL tear


Michigan loses cornerback Jeremy Clark to season-ending ACL tear

Michigan has already had to spend three games without star cornerback Jourdan Lewis this season, and now the Wolverines will be without cornerback Jeremy Clark for the remainder of the campaign.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed to reporters Monday that Clark is done for the year with a torn ACL, an injury he suffered in this past weekend’s win over Penn State, having to be carted off the field.

Clark made 13 combined starts during the 2014 and 2015 seasons and started each of the first four games of this season. He came away with three interceptions a season ago. This year, he made 10 tackles and broke up three passes.

Harbaugh said there will be an attempt on Michigan’s part to get Clark another year of eligibility, but the NCAA will ultimately make that decision. By rule, a player needs to play in fewer than 30 percent of his team’s games to qualify for a medical hardship waiver.

The Wolverines will certainly miss their senior cornerback. Through four games, Michigan has been one of the country’s finest defenses, ranking 11th in total defense (269.8 yards per game), 12th in passing defense (147.3 yards per game) and 13th in scoring defense (13.8 points per game).

Chris Ash says Rutgers will petition for another year of eligibility for Janarion Grant


Chris Ash says Rutgers will petition for another year of eligibility for Janarion Grant

News of the season-ending injury for Rutgers star Janarion Grant hit Sunday, a brutal break for the Scarlet Knights, who lose their best player and biggest scoring threat.

Monday, Rutgers head coach Chris Ash confirmed the season-ending injury and told reporters that the school would petition the NCAA for another season of eligibility for Grant, a senior.

“Obviously we'll try to petition for one,” Ash said when asked about a potential fifth season for Grant.

“We'll do it but someone else has to make the decision whether they are going to allow it to happen or not based on all the criteria. It's not up to me, the AD or anybody here at Rutgers. We'll submit the necessary documents to try to petition for it, but it's up to somebody else to make that decision. And you know, you see it all the time in college football, some people get it, some people don't. You're never really sure.”

The tricky part about that is the NCAA’s rule about medical hardship waivers requiring a player to play in fewer than 30 percent of a team’s games during a season in order to qualify for such a waiver. Grant’s played in four of Rutgers’ 12 scheduled contests this season, more than 30 percent.

We saw a similar situation in the Big Ten this past offseason, when the NCAA took a very long time to determine the fate of Iowa defensive end Drew Ott. Ott eventually was denied a waiver and an extra year of eligibility.

Should the same fate await Grant, this would be the end of his collegiate career. It’s obviously a big blow for Rutgers, which could certainly use the guy who’s racked up 655 all-purpose yards and six total touchdowns this season and 4,251 all-purpose yards and 13 total touchdowns in his four-year career. It’s also quite a shame for Big Ten fans, who won’t get to watch one of the sport’s most electrifying players for the remainder of the season.