The Chicago Bears‘ season has taken a nasty turn with the injuries to Jay Cutler and Matt Forte. Cutler had surgery to repair a broken thumb while Forte is out indefinitely with a sprained MCL.
Bears head coach Lovie Smith and backup QB Caleb Hanie took some time out today to talk to the Denver media. Since losing Cutler, the Bears have lost their last two games to the Raiders and Chiefs. In the team’s loss to the Chiefs, they lost Forte to the knee injury. Thus, the two players that could have made the biggest impact against the Broncos were the hot topic of the day.
Through 10 games, Cutler was having a great season. He had 2,319 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions, but most importantly he led the team to 7 wins. If he were able to go against the Raiders and the Chiefs, he surely could have put more points up on the board than Hanie, and this Bears team could 9-3 instead of 7-5.
Cutler has been giving pointers to Hanie, a former CSU Ram, as the season progresses.
“The first week he (Cutler) was gone for surgery so I didn’t really get to see him that much,” Hanie said. “He’s was at the game and did a good job of calming me down and all that kind of stuff on the sidelines. Last week, he would give me tips on certain plays, and how to see certain things. He’s done a good job of being around and being available for all the guys.”
The Bears game was certainly highlighted on the calendars of most Broncos fans since Cutler played for the team for three years. Most in Denver didn’t want to see the young gunslinger go, but his departure was the result of an internal feud between him and former head coach Josh McDaniels. There are still quite a few Broncos players that are around from when Cutler played in Denver.
“Just as far as personnel, he knows a lot of those guys,” Hanie said. “He gave us a little insight on those guys and kind of what their strengths are.”
The second big-time hit that the Bears took was losing their star running back who was also second on the team in receiving. Matt Forte is third in the league in rushing yards and he was averaging 83.1 yards per game.
“It hurts us,” Lovie Smith said of Forte’s absence. “Matt’s a great player. He’s one of the best players in the league so without him, we’re not as strong.”
Forte has led the Bears to being a 12th ranked rushing offense, but it is his ability to make something out of nothing that the team will really miss.
“You never want to loose a guy like him,” Hanie said. “He’s a good player, makes special plays out of plays that may not be there, and he’ll make guys miss and take it the distance sometimes.”
In Forte’s place, Marion Barber and Kahlil Bell will lace them up.
The Bears had 93 rushing yards against the Chiefs last week with Barber earning 44 yards on 14 carries and Bell accumulating 34 yards on 4 carries.
The Broncos cannot take the Bears depleted offense lightly, however.
“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” John Fox said. “We’ve got a very good Chicago team coming into town, and we’ll have to play well to beat them.”