LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will miss Monday’s game at San Francisco because of a concussion.
The Bears announced the decision Friday, meaning Jason Campbell is the likely starter against the 49ers.
Star receiver Brandon Marshall said Cutler is getting better, but he also said there’s a bigger picture that goes beyond this week’s game.
“Our life, our health, is more important than football,” Marshall said. “I think we’ll get Jay back sooner than later.”
For now, they believe they have enough to get by. They brought in Campbell in the offseason just for a situation like this, and he found out Thursday that he’ll be starting.
“You definitely don’t want to see anyone get hurt or injured in this business,” said Campbell, who’s made 70 starts in his career with Washington and Oakland. “We understand it is a tough sport. Sometimes, things like that happen.”
Cutler’s status was in question after he sat out the second half of Sunday’s loss to Houston. The Bears believe he was injured on a helmet-to-helmet hit by the Texans’ Tim Dobbins, who was fined $30,000 by the league, late in the second quarter.
Cutler initially did not show any symptoms and took seven more snaps in the first half. It wasn’t until halftime that the symptoms showed up, and the Bears went the rest of the way with Campbell.
It was clear the Bears weren’t counting on having Cutler available for the 49ers game. They signed veteran Josh McCown this week, giving them a backup behind Campbell.
The 49ers, meanwhile, could be without starting quarterback Alex Smith, who suffered a concussion of his own last week. He practiced in a non-contact black jersey Wednesday and Thursday and hopes to be ready to play against Chicago.
The concussion isn’t the first for Cutler. He missed a game after being sacked nine times in the first half of a loss at the New York Giants in October 2010. Last year, Cutler broke his right thumb late in a win over San Diego. Chicago was 7-3, but went into a free fall, finishing 8-8 and costing general manager Jerry Angelo his job.
New GM Phil Emery traded for Marshall and addressed several other areas, including the backup quarterback spot by signing Campbell to a one-year contract.
“He’s the next guy up and he’s more than capable,” Marshall said. “I think when you look at what happened to the Bears last year, I think that’s the reason why he’s here. He’s more than capable and we’re fortunate to have a starting quarterback as our backup.”