The Bears confirmed Monday that Jay Cutler has a broken right thumb, but indicated that no date has been set for a surgical procedure. It could take place as early as Tuesday. The fracture was significant and it's believed that doctors will want the pins that will be inserted into his thumb to take hold before he's able to return.
The team has said it's hopeful that Cutler will be able to come back before the end of the regular season. The Bears' final game of the season is a Jan. 1 road trip to Minnesota to play the Vikings.
Cutler's backup, Caleb Hanie, will get the start Sunday against the Raiders. The Bears could look into signing a veteran backup with rookie fifth-round pick Nathan Enderle serving as the only other quarterback on the roster.
There was more bad news for the Bears on Monday, as they announced veteran long-snapper Patrick Mannelly will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. He's expected to be placed on injured reserve and the Bears are likely to look for a veteran free agent to replace him. Mannelly hasn't missed a game since the 2002 season.
The way we see it
There's more pressure on RB Matt Forté as well as the entire defense and special teams to play even better with Cutler sidelined for the forseeable future. Hanie is going to have to make plays at times for the Bears to win and stay in position to make the playoffs.