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Bears QB Jay Cutler suffers neck injury, leaves game in 21-14 loss

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) gets hit by MinnesotVikings defensive end EversGriffen left after passing ball during second half

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) gets hit by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, left, after passing the ball during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Minneapolis. Griffen was called for a personal foul on the play. (AP Photo/Genevieve Ross)

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Updated: December 9, 2012 6:07PM



MINNEAPOLIS -- A few weeks after sitting out with a concussion, quarterback Jay Cutler suffered a neck injury in the fourth quarter of the Bears’ 21-14 loss against the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome on Sunday.

Cutler was injured when he was hit in the head by Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen. Cutler was being pulled to the ground when Griffen struck him directly in the head, bending his neck violently backward.

“Everything is stiff,” Cutler said. “It started stiffening up more and more as the game progressed, getting some spasms on the left side. I just have to take it day by day.”

Griffen was penalized for unnecessary roughness, but a holding penalty on Bears left tackle J’Marcus Webb negated it.

Cutler got up slowly and was looked at by Bears staff, but finished the Bears’ drive, taking nine more snaps. He actually completed a 22-yard pass to receiver Brandon Marshall on the first play after the hit.

Cutler, though, was replaced by backup Jason Campbell on the Bears’ next possession. Cutler finished 22-for-44 for 260 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.

There were obvious concerns that Cutler may have suffered his second concussion of the season when he was struck by Griffen, who wrapped his arms around Cutler’s helmet. But Cutler remained on the sideline for the remainder of the game.

“{Cutler] fought to the end,” coach Lovie Smith said. “Of course, we’d like to have a couple of those throws back, but Jay’s going to play like that always. We know what we’re going to get from him. I thought protection was OK for the most part, but it could have been a little better.”



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