Bears looking at backups points to Cutler missing SF game

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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.

Carl Edwards Jr.'s special tie to Memorial Day

Carl Edwards Jr.'s special tie to Memorial Day

For Carl Edwards Jr., Memorial Day has a special meaning.

That's because the Cubs reliever has a very close tie to the armed services. 

Edwards met his fiance, Nette Smith, before her deployment in Afghanistan. Throughout her active service, Edwards kept in touch by writing her letters. Their relationship eventually blossomed, and now the couple has a one-year-old child. 

With Smith's army commitment finished, she views Memorial Day as a time to appreciate all those who serve. 

"To me, Memorial Day is a day set aside for me to remember some of the people I have met who sacrificed everything," Smith said. 

Watch the couple's entire story in the video above. 

Morning Update: White Sox power past Tigers; Dodgers sweep Cubs

Morning Update: White Sox power past Tigers; Dodgers sweep Cubs

Here are the top Chicago sports stories from Sunday:

Stranger than fiction: Dodgers sweep Cubs as Lester vs. Kershaw doesn’t live up to expectations

Miguel Gonzalez throws six perfect innings as White Sox take series against Tigers

Joe Maddon has no choice but to ignore the noise and put his faith in young Cubs lineup: ‘If you want to freak out, freak out’

Two days out, White Sox already excited about facing former teammate Chris Sale

Fire midfielder Dax McCarty named to U.S. national team roster

Jose Abreu relishing opportunity to help mentor Luis Robert, White Sox newest Cuban addition

How patient will Cubs be with Ian Happ and the rookie learning curve?

Takuma Sato holds off Helio Castroneves to give Andretti another Indy 500 win

Sky continue early season struggles in loss to Sun

Honda Road Ahead: Cubs offense looks to build off showing against Clayton Kershaw