Bears QB Cutler to have surgery on thumb



Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said Monday there is no sense of panic in the locker room or push to sign a veteran quarterback after the team announced Jay Cutler will need surgery to repair the fractured thumb he suffered in Sunday’s win over the San Diego Chargers.


Bears Urlacher, appearing on „The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000, challenged the defense to play better and said the team has confidence in backup QB Caleb Hanie, who is likely to get his first sustained workload since replacing Cutler in the 2011 NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers.


„First of all, we don’t know if Jay is out for the season,” Urlacher said, when asked if the players want a veteran quarterback signed. „No one really knows. He’s getting looked at right now, so no one really knows if he’s out for the season.


„We can live with Caleb Hanie. Even [third-stringer Nathan Enderle]. With the way we play defense and special teams and the way we run the football, we can win with those guys at quarterback. We’re not happy about what happened, but we’re not going to panic, as players. I don’t know what the organization is doing, but our coaches won’t panic. We’ll settle down, get Caleb in there, get his reps and all that good stuff, but we’re not panicking right now.”


After Cutler left the NFC title game with a sprained MCL, Hanie completed 13 of 20 passes for 153 yards. He threw one touchdown but was intercepted twice, including one that was returned for a touchdown by B.J. Raji.


„[Hanie] picks us apart in scout team every day,” Urlacher said. „It [ticks] me off. He does a good job in practice, and practice isn’t the game, but it’s the other team’s offense. He doesn’t get any reps with the first team, so it’s hard to say what he can do over there.


„I know he knows the offense, I’m not worried about that. I think he’ll do a good job for us. He’s a mobile guy. He brings that to the table, just like Jay does — maybe not the arm strength Jay has, but he’s been in the system a while and knows where to throw the football. And we have confidence in him. He did come in and do a good job in that NFC Championship Game, and he was in a tough situation. I think he performed really well under pressure. „


Linebacker Nick Roach, who rooms with Hanie on the road, said he knows his close friend is confident he can get the job done.


„Caleb is a competitor, a talented guy with a lot of confidence,” Roach said. „We’ve seen that confidence in the limited amount of playing time he’s had. He can be a playmaker when he gets a chance. „Hey, back-up quarterbacks are always one play away from seeing the field, so he definitely prepares like he’s going to play every week. I see that every week. I have no doubt that he takes this very seriously and will be ready to go.”



Photo: Jacek Urbanczyk/Polish News