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Cutler misses practice due to concussion

Posted by Larry Mayer on November 15, 2012 – 4:40 pm

Jay Cutler’s status for Monday night’s game in San Francisco remains uncertain after he was held out of practice Thursday due to the concussion he sustained in last Sunday night’s loss to the Texans.

“I know you have a lot of Jay Cutler questions, but there’s not a whole lot I can say except for—as I said yesterday—he’s getting better,” said coach Lovie Smith. “I don’t know if he’ll be able to go this week or not. He did not practice today and that’s about all I can really tell you.”

Cutler, who must be cleared by Bears doctors and an independent neurological consultant before he can participate in practice or a game, has improved each day this week.

“He’s feeling better and it normally goes like that,” Smith said. “You get better each day with an injury, with just how you’re feeling. That’s why you’re optimistic and you have to take it each day, and we’re hopeful tomorrow he’ll be better than he is today.”

Like Cutler, defensive end Shea McClellin did not practice Thursday after suffering a concussion against the Texans. Defensive tackle Matt Toeaina (calf) also sat out. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (hand) was limited and defensive tackle Henry Melton (back) practiced without restrictions.

The Bears are hoping that Jeffery will be able to play after missing the last four games.

“He’s a good football player,” Smith said. “He was really playing good football for us when he went down. I know we can’t wait to get him out there. As you look at the timetable that we kind of had in mind when he went down, this is getting about close to that time, so we’re hopeful. We could use him.”

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Urlacher unhappy with double standard

Posted by Larry Mayer on November 15, 2012 – 2:33 pm

With the NFL on a mission to raise awareness about head injuries and concussions, Brian Urlacher wonders why nothing’s ever said about offensive linemen diving at the legs of defensive players.

“They shouldn’t allow cut blocks because our knees are important to us too,” Urlacher said. “I know concussions are a big deal, but I think cut blocks are a big deal. But that seems to be OK with the NFL, so they’re not too concerned about safety.

“They’re concerned about long-term concussions, but immediately they are not concerned about your knees or your ankles or anything like that. I think that should be an issue.

“Concussions are taking care of themselves. It’s a big deal to everyone because of all of the older players coming back and saying they’re all messed up now. That’s definitely an issue, but I think the cut blocks need to be a big issue as well.”

Defensive lineman Israel Idonije agreed “100 percent” with Urlacher that there’s a double standard in the NFL when it comes to player safety.

“We all know that,” Idonije said. “It’s an offensive game and ultimately a lot of the rules are put in place to advance the offense and defensively we’re second fiddle at times. But that’s just the nature of the game sometimes.

“Hopefully the bodies that govern the rules and protections do a better job of taking the injuries that the players on defense consistently sustain and remove some of those elements from the game as well.”

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Melton enjoying view from the top

Posted by Larry Mayer on November 15, 2012 – 1:55 pm

When the NFL released fan balloting results for the Pro Bowl Wednesday, Henry Melton was happy to see that he’s currently the leading vote-getter among NFC defensive tackles.

“I saw that on Twitter,” Melton said. “I got a little excited like a little kid. But you can’t let it go to your head and you can’t get too excited about it. It’s still early and there are a lot of games left to be played.”

After recording a career-high seven sacks last season in his first full year as a starter, Melton has continued to make impact plays while performing with more consistency in 2012. He has registered five sacks and two forced fumbles while compiling 23 tackles, the most by a Bears defensive lineman.

“It’s really just another year underneath my belt and getting with my coaches and watching how the veterans prepare and take the season,” Melton said. “It’s been eye-opening to see where I’ve come from, and it’s just a great feeling at the moment.”

As a running back at Texas, Melton rushed for 432 yards and 10 touchdowns as a freshman, helping the Longhorns win the national championship. He was later moved to the defensive line as a junior.

“You’ve got to have quick feet playing running back, just like it showed last week where they’re cutting and diving at your legs and you’ve got to stay on your feet to make a play,” Melton said. “That’s where it’s really helped me.”

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