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Bears’ Jay Cutler might be lost for season with broken right thumb

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler sidelines late fourth quarter Chicago Bears 31-20 wover San Diego Chargers Sunday November 20 2011 Soldier

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler on the sidelines late in the fourth quarter of the Chicago Bears 31-20 win over the San Diego Chargers Sunday November 20, 2011 at Soldier Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: November 21, 2011 5:52AM

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler saved a touchdown, but he may have suffered a season-ending injury.

That’s the fear, according to two sources, because Cutler broke the thumb on his throwing hand in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 31-20 victory over the San Diego Chargers. Fox Sports was first to report that Cutler had injured his thumb around 8 p.m.

It’s feared Cutler suffered the break after Bears receiver Johnny Knox slipped on the turf and a pass was intercepted by cornerback Antoine Cason.

As he was sprinting down the right sideline, Cutler dove and slowed him long enough that running back Matt Forte tackled him at the Bears’ 16-yard line.

Cutler, though, finished the game, even completing two passes on third down on a key drive that chewed up more than seven and a half minutes on the clock.

For the game, Cutler completed 18 of 31 passes for 286 yards with two touchdown passes.

The Bears have won five consecutive games, and they’ll now head to Oakland to face the 6-4 Raiders. Backup Caleb Hanie will get the start for the Bears.

Cutler will undergo further tests, to determine the exact nature of his injury. But there is a concern his season could be over. The Bears, though, are expected to err on the side of caution, in case Cutler can return late in season, perhaps even in the playoffs.

It was a rough day for Cutler, who also absorbed a knee to the head. While he wasn’t sacked in the game, Cutler was pressured three times, according to the game statistics, and he took a few hard blows.

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