Cutler and Smith: The head cases

939451.png

Cutler and Smith: The head cases

Players just know, often better than coaches. So I went privately, no pen or recorder operating, to several offensive players to get some sense of what they might have seen in Jay Cutler that would have hinted at a concussion.

Nothing. And these are people I trust, some of the same ones who told me after the NFC Championship game, with the furor over whether Cutler really had a knee injury, that Cutlers knee was wobbling visibly while he was just standing in the huddle calling plays. They were bewildered and irate at questions, particularly ones from players, over Cutlers toughness,

So it was telling that three different members of the offense told CSNChicago.com that they were genuinely surprised when word came the Jason Campbell would take over for Cutler after halftime in the wake of the Tim Dobbins hit.

All of which lent unintended credibility to coach Lovie Smiths account that Cutler exhibited no symptoms of head injury before the team was in the locker room at halftime. The same was not the case with Shea McClellin when the rookie defensive end jogged groggily off the field one play into the Houston game with a concussion of his own.

The Bears and even the NFL could be called on failure to properly handle a concussion situation. Right now that doesnt appear to have been the case, based on eyewitness accounts from up close.

Should Cutler have been pulled after the Dobbins blow and Cutlers staying down for some moments after the hit? Based on what? That he was hit hard? That could mean pulling any player slow to get up after a play. A gray area for sure but it always is where gray matter is concerned.

Different town, same tune

Jim Harbaugh was entertaining some of the same questions posed to Smith when the San Francisco coach and former Bears quarterback talked Monday about the condition of quarterback Alex Smith.

Smith was pulled after suffering a concussion, signs of which included blurred vision. Smith was still showing positive concussion symptoms on Monday, making him an early longshot to play against the Bears next Monday.

Smith said that he had the blurred vision after he got up from a quarterback sneak, which was maybe two possessions after the hit to the back of the head believed to be the blow responsible, and that was a good-sized hit, Harbaugh said. Our doctors were good. They were very proactive on that hit. They watched it on the monitors and Alex had no symptoms after that hit. He was cleared to play. So I think our doctors handled it very well.

Honda Road Ahead: Bulls continue playoff push against Cavaliers, Hawks

Honda Road Ahead: Bulls continue playoff push against Cavaliers, Hawks

Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill and Will Perdue break down the Bulls' upcoming schedule in the latest edition of the Bulls Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and NW Indiana Honda dealers.

TNT Bulls are back this week as the team heads into a crucial stretch. 

Currently, the Bulls sit half a game back of the Miami Heat for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, and with just eight games remaining on the schedule, each contest is essentially a must-win. 

So, yes, Thursday would be a great time for Jimmy Butler and company to summon their TNT alter ego. The Bulls have sealed 18 straight victories when playing on TNT Thursday, an improbable feat considering those games are usually reserved for two of the NBA's best. 

To continue that run, they'll have to down Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are also fighting for playoff positioning -- albeit at the top of the conference. Good thing the Bulls have a tendency to get up for big games. 

"The Bulls play up and down to their competition," Bulls Pregame and Postgame analyst Kendall Gill said. "They've been doing that the whole season." 

After Cleveland, the Bulls get set to battle another playoff squad, the Atlanta Hawks. 

Watch the video above to see Schanowski, Gill and Perdue break down the matchups. 

White Sox rookie Charlie Tilson's foot could keep him out until late May

White Sox rookie Charlie Tilson's foot could keep him out until late May

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Charlie Tilson will spend another three weeks in a walking boot and is likely out until at least the end of May.

The White Sox outfielder has been wearing the boot ever since he re-aggravated a stress reaction in his right foot earlier this month. Tilson is also rehabbing a torn hamstring that required surgery last August and ended his 2016 season early.

The White Sox later downed the San Francisco Giants 4-3 at Camelback Ranch. Catcher Roberto Pena had a two-out, two-run single in the ninth.

“It’s likely going to be a little bit of a process from there,” Tilson said. “One of those things you have to listen to your body. Like I said, it may take more time than I would like. But the ultimate goal is to be sustainable and get myself back to where I need to be.”

The White Sox top options for center field remain veteran Peter Bourjos and prospect Jacob May. They also could use Leury Garcia in center, manager Rick Renteria said.

Center field is one of several open roster battles with only three full days to go in camp. The team is off on Thursday before playing a pair of exhibition games at Milwaukee on Friday and Saturday.

“We’ll figure it out, and it could be in the next couple of days,” Renteria said. “We just have to allow it to play out and then make a determination at that point.”

The White Sox also have two spots up for grabs in the back of the bullpen. Michael Ynoa, who is out of options, non-roster invitees Anthony Swarzak, Cory Luebke and Matt Purke, and rookie Zack Burdi are vying for jobs. Rookie Juan Minaya is likely to start the season on the disabled list.

Rule 5 draftee Dylan Covey, who pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings on Saturday, could figure into the team’s plans even more if Carlos Rodon starts the season on the disabled list. Covey is expected to start for the White Sox on Wednesday against the San Diego Padres.

Sunday’s starter James Shields said he’s ready for the regular season after throwing five innings. Shields allowed three earned runs and eight hits, walked three and struck out two.

He finished the Cactus League with a 3.45 ERA in 15 2/3 innings.

“Overall I felt good and I’m ready to move on,” Shields said. “These last couple outings I’ve been trying to work on my two-seam fastball. Today it was a little erratic, but overall felt pretty good.”

Nate Jones struck out two in a scoreless inning pitched. David Robertson, Blake Smith and Dan Jennings also pitched a scoreless inning.

Jose Abreu doubled and walked in four trips. Melky Cabrera singled twice in three trips.