Chicago Bears don't believe they were reckless with Jay Cutler

Jonathan Daniel

Chicago coach Lovie Smith was adamant that the team went above and beyond NFL protocols for handling concussions with their quarterback Jay Cutler.

One of the biggest issues coming out of the Bears' Sunday night loss to the Texans surrounded the team's handling of Jay Cutler's concussion. The quarterback stayed in the game for several plays after he took the nasty hit from Tim Dobbins that caused the head injury. Cutler was examined further in the locker room at halftime, and ruled out.

Questions arose whether Cutler should have been allowed to continue after the hit, and whether or not the team followed the league's new concussion protocols. But according to Michael C. Wright of ESPN Chicago, the league reviewed the Bears' actions and determined that they appropriately followed the procedures. Head coach Lovie Smith was adamant about the team's handling of head injuries, stating that they go above and beyond when protecting their players:

"Let's forget about the protocol for a minute. If a player has a concussion or any injury, he's not going back in the game; simple as that. Once we found out (that) Jay Cutler (and defensive end) Shea McClellin had a concussion, we were going really first on our own protocol, which is the player (is) out of the football game."

Smith articulated that the Bears would never prioritize a win over a player's health, and that all necessary measures were taken Sunday against the Texans.

Cutler's status for Chicago's next game against the San Francisco 49ers is still uncertain, as he has to pass tests done by an independent neurologist before he can return to practice or game action.

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