Jay Cutler Injury: Bears Must Protect QB vs. Dangerous Packers Pass Rush

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 14, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 09:  Quarterback Jay Cutler#6 of the Chicago Bears walks back to the huddle after throwing a incomplete pass against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field on December 9, 2012 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Jay Cutler will play in Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers despite dealing with an MCL sprain and neck problems, according to ESPN.

Unfortunately for him and the Chicago Bears offensive line, the one and only Clay Matthews is also expected to return from injury.

The Bears have lost hold of the NFC North to the Packers. They have lost four of their last five games. And, as always, the offensive line has been part of the problem.

Chicago has allowed 37 sacks this season, tied for seventh-most in the NFL. On the flip side, Green Bay has collected 35 sacks, sixth-most in the NFL.

While the Packers haven't sacked the quarterback as much in recent weeks, a large part of that is because they haven't had Matthews. After all, Matthews had nine sacks in nine games before going down to injury against the Arizona Cardinals.

Bears fans still can't forget the thrashing Cutler took in the 23-10 loss to the Packers in Week 2, when Green Bay sacked Cutler seven times (including 3.5 by Matthews) and hit him 12 times (including four by Matthews).

If Chicago expects to end this slide, the offensive line is going to have to step up. Given the history of this unit, it's hard to see that happening, especially with Matthews back.

In that case, the Bears would be wise to run the ball more frequently in Week 15 against a Packers unit allowing 4.5 yards per carry this season (24th in the NFL). If they open up things on the ground, Cutler can pick his spots throughout the game, instead of constantly dropping back and risking getting sacked.

Matt Forte rushed for 85 yards on 13 carries against the Minnesota Vikings last week and the Packers have allowed four rushing touchdowns in the last four games.


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