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.

Kyle Baun healthy, ready for another chance with Blackhawks

Kyle Baun healthy, ready for another chance with Blackhawks

Kyle Baun couldn’t have asked for a better start to his second NHL season as he made the Blackhawks roster out of training camp.

It didn’t last long, however, as Baun was back with the Rockford IceHogs after two games with Chicago. As for that season in Rockford?

“That was a whole other story,” said Baun.

Indeed, Baun lost a good portion of his Rockford season when his right wrist was sliced twice by another player’s skate in mid-November. That, however, is all behind him. Now Baun hopes to replicate his 2015 camp performances and latch on with the big club longer.

Baun will play in his first preseason game this fall when the Blackhawks face the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday night. The 24-year-old skated is expected to start on a line with Tyler Motte and Tanner Kero, with whom he skated on Friday morning.

“I just want to simulate what I did last year, and it went well at the beginning,” Baun said. “I want to keep working hard, do what I did last year in the exhibition season and hopefully I can stick again.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Baun’s stint was short lived last fall; he was reassigned to Rockford on Oct. 16, and was looking to have a strong season there. Less than a month later, however, he suffered his right wrist injury that sidelined him for more than three months. Baun said he still wasn’t quite right even when he returned.

“I was trying to get back with the wrist and stuff, and I’m not sure it was 100 percent by the time I came back,” said Baun, who now wears Kevlar guards on his wrists. “So it was good to get a summer of training back in and get my legs under me.”

As for that wrist, Baun said it’s definitely “much better now.”

“The strength and dexterity is back,” he said. “It’s a small muscle, so to get the dexterity back was kind of tough.”

Baun is looking for another opportunity. Considering the opportunities for forwards this season, a good showing could lead to some more time in Chicago.

“I’m just trying to focus on my own game like last year. I think that worked for me, trying not to look too, too much into what everyone else is doing,” he said. “Consistency is the biggest thing here. They’re just looking for a guy who can come in, game in and game out, and improve.”

BRIEFLY

- Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Corey Crawford, who just wrapped up their World Cup of Hockey play on Thursday night, will probably get “three or four days off” before joining camp, assistant coach Mike Kitchen said. “They’ve been going for a long time,” Kitchen said. “We’ll give them some time off.”

- Coach Joel Quenneville flew to Pittsburgh with the team.

Three keys and prediction: Notre Dame - Syracuse

Three keys and prediction: Notre Dame - Syracuse

Here are three keys and a prediction for Saturday's Notre Dame-Syracuse game in New Jersey.

1. Make a play on Amba Etta-Tawo: Orange quarterback Eric Dungey targets Etta-Tawo, college football’s leading receiver through four weeks, an average of 13 times a game. Covering Etta-Tawo well is one thing, but that won’t necessarily mean Dungey will look elsewhere to throw the ball. Senior Cole Luke will probably get the first crack at guarding Etta-Tawo, and he’ll have to make a few plays on the ball (a tipped pass, an interception, etc.) to force Dungey out of his comfort zone. If Luke can’t do it, look for an underclassmen — Donte Vaughn, who picked off a pass against Duke, would have to lead that next group — to step in. Stopping Etta-Tawo would go a long way toward keeping the points down against Syracuse’s going-to-plaid offense. 

2. Meet “the standard” on offense. DeShone Kizer has been somewhere between very good and great this season, but it hasn’t been enough for Notre Dame to avoid any of their three losses. Syracuse’s defense is prone to allowing explosive plays and has struggled against the run, so triggering Josh Adams, Dexter Williams and/or Tarean Folston on the ground could allow Kizer to pick apart the Orange secondary as the game goes on. Most importantly, Kizer and his teammates need to avoid carelessly turning the ball over, as they did a few times against Michigan State and Syracuse. 

3. Effective play from the young guys. Kelly said one of the defensive changes we’ll see going forward is a lot more younger, talented players getting on the field in situations in which they weren’t equipped to in Brian VanGorder’s complex defense. Maybe that means defensive end Daelin Hayes using his elite pass rushing trait to pressure Dungey, or linebacker Asmar Bilal using his excellent speed trait to run with a crossing route and break up a pass. No matter how it happens, it has to happen — with that “it” being making defensive plays. Without sacks, TFLs, fumbles and/or interceptions, all that talk of Notre Dame having more “fun” this week will ring hollow on Saturday.

 

Prediction: Notre Dame 45, Syracuse 42. Adams and Williams both have big games on the ground and Kizer leads an offensive oscillating between explosive and efficient to, for the first time this year, enough points to overcome a shaky defensive performance.