November 4, 2013 in Sports

Backup plan suits Bears just fine

Nancy Armour Associated Press
 

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Chicago Bears have a better insurance policy than Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

Josh McCown, playing in place of the injured Jay Cutler, threw for two touchdowns Monday night as the Bears won 27-20 and ended a six-game skid to their NFC North rivals. The loss snapped Green Bay’s four-game winning streak, but the far larger concern is the health of Rodgers, who hurt his left (non-throwing) shoulder when he was sacked on the first series by the Bears’ Shea McClellin.

Rodgers took a few warm-up throws with backup Seneca Wallace, but after being examined by medical staff, ran into the Green Bay locker room. He wasn’t seen again until midway through the third quarter, when he came back onto the field in sweats. Though he waved to fans with his right hand, and didn’t appear to be wearing a brace, he kept his left hand jammed in his pocket.

“He has a shoulder injury,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “They want to run more tests. They don’t have an exact diagnosis. We’ll have more information, probably tomorrow.”

Alshon Jeffery had five catches for 60 yards, including a 6-yard grab for the go-ahead touchdown at the end of the third quarter. Brandon Marshall, largely shut down in two games against Green Bay last year, had seven catches for 107 yards and a score. Matt Forte ran for 125 yards and a TD, and also had 54 yards receiving for the Bears, who pulled into a three-way tie for first in the NFC North with Green Bay and Detroit. All are 5-3.

The loss spoiled another big night by Green Bay rookie Eddie Lacy, who ran for 150 yards and a TD.

“It’d be hard to find one better than this,” said McCown, who was coaching high school when the Bears signed him two years ago. “They’re all special, but this is really neat because it means so much to our team.”

Green Bay has been hit hard by injuries, with James Jones (knee) returning Monday night after a two-game absence and sackmaster Clay Matthews (thumb) and tight end Jermichael Finley still out. Wide receiver Randall Cobb (leg) is on the injured list-designated to return, and offensive lineman T.J. Lang (concussion) and linebacker Andy Mulumba (ankle) left the game.

But there are injuries, and then there are injuries, and a hurt Aaron Rodgers is Green Bay’s ultimate nightmare.

With the 2011 NFL MVP almost as durable as predecessor Brett Favre – he hasn’t missed a game due to injury since Dec. 19, 2010 – the backup quarterback has been little more than an afterthought in Green Bay.

Wallace was 11 of 19 for 114 yards and 1 interception.

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