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Bears lose Jay Cutler, back-and-forth game to Redskins, 45-41

Updated: October 20, 2013 9:23PM



LANDOVER, Md. — When Jay Cutler writhed in pain on the FedEx Field turf in the second quarter Sunday, gusts of wind could have been mistaken for the gasps of Bears faithful back home.

“Obviously,” guard Kyle Long said, “there’s an initial panic when you’re out there and No. 6 is on the ground.”

Panic? The Bears lost more than Sunday’s game, 45-41, to the 2-4 Redskins. They lost momentum, and now enter the bye week at 4-3.

They lost, at various points in the game, Brandon Marshall, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman, to injury.

And they lost Cutler, who rolled over on top of Chris Baker during the defensive end’s first career sack in the second quarter.

Cutler’s groin was X-rayed Sunday and will receive an MRI Monday.

“He’s a tough competitor, so when you see him down and he stays down, you know it’s something serious,” wideout Earl Bennett said.

One indication of how serious: the Bears will sign Jordan Palmer, a veteran quarterback they cut in camp.

The line between a Cutler strain and a tear appears to be the same size as the Bears’ playoff aspirations, though backup Josh McCown did his best in front of 83,147 fans.

He went 14-for-20 for 204 yards and one touchdown, and led the Bears to 24 second-half points.

“I was bummed,” he said. “I said a prayer, grabbed my helmet, got some throws in and got ready to play.”

Matt Forte ran for three touchdowns, the most gaudy a 50-yarder in the third quarter where his jump-cut juked De Angelo Hall.

The Redskins’ Roy Helu, Jr., had three rushing scores of his own, including a three-yard game-winner with 45 seconds to play to cap a 80-yard, 12-play drive.

“They made more plays than we did today,” Bears middle linebacker Jon Bostic said.

In the second quarter, Devin Hester returned a punt 81 yards for a score to help shake off the cobwebs of Cutler’s injury and knot the game. Brian Orakpo’s 29-yard interception return off Alshon Jeffery’s tip had given the Redskins a 17-10 lead.

“The words ‘Keep believing’ kept floating around in the huddle,” Marshall said.

With the Bears defense depleted, Robert Griffin III led the Redskins to touchdowns on four of his last six drives. The quarterback went 18-for-29 for 298 yards and two scores, and had 84 yards on 11 carries.

The Bears and Redskins traded touchdowns in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, with Aldrick Robinson’s 45-yard catch of an arcing pass countering Forte’s six-yard run.

Robbie Gould’s 49-yard field goal pulled the Bears within four. They attempted and recovered an onside kick, but the play was called back when Eric Weems was ruled offside.

The Bears then forced a punt, and McCown marched 67 yards, throwing a seven-yard scoring pass to Martellus Bennett to take a 41-38 lead with 3:57 to play.

Griffin said the Redskins “had to win a shootout,” and they did on the last drive.

“Guys get paid to get up and dust themselves off,” Marshall said.

Cutler will learn soon enough if he’ll have the chance.

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @patrickfinley



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