A Thumb Down in Chicago

For years, Chicago has been waiting for a consistent leader at quarterback. By the time Jay Cutler came to the windy city in 2009, the team had gone through no less than ten quarterbacks in ten years, including the likes of Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton and Brian Griese. What Chicago got with Cutler was consistency. A tough competitor with a great arm and the ability to forget about bad throws. But on Sunday, the star quarterback broke his right thumb in a 31-20 victory over the visiting San Diego Chargers and will probably be out for the remainder of the season.

After throwing an interception to Antoine Cason, Cutler went for a tackle and was knocked flat by linebacker Donald Butler, who showed little regret for the damage he did with a single hit. Cutler, the always tough and persistent competitor stayed in the game and threw for 286 yards and a win. Now doctors are saying that the finally stable quarterback position may be thrust into disarray once again.

Caleb Hanie, a free agent acquisition who once played for Colorado State, will be Cutler’s backup next week, attempting to fire up the crowd with the same enthusiasm he had when the Bears lost Cutler during their 2010 NFC Championship Game last year. During that game, Cutler went down with a sprained MCL and then-backup 40-year-old Todd Collins injured his shoulder, leaving third-stringer Hanie to step up. By the end of the game, Hanie passed for 153 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions. Not a perfect showing, but let’s be honest… he was in a shootout against the Green Bay Packers who were en route to a winning streak. Even Cutler wasn’t going to get in the way.

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