Chicago Sun-Times

So how many concussions has Jay Cutler had?

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Let's start with a disclaimer.

Only Jay Cutler and his doctors know exactly how many concussions he's suffered. But, in reality, some people can have a concussion and not even realize it. So there's a lot of gray as it relates concussions and blows to the head.

Much has been made, though, about Cutler and concussions.

When asked directly on Wednesday, Cutler said the concussion against the New York Giants Oct. 3 was his first ever.

But there are previous reports that suggest there may have been more.

In November 2004, the Tennessean in Nashville reported that Cutler suffered a concussion Sept. 20, 2003 in a 30-14 loss to TCU.

"I was pretty messed up," Cutler told the paper with a laugh. "I was calling the wrong plays. The funniest thing is they were just like, 'All right, ready, break,' and going out there and doing it. Everybody knew it was wrong, but they ran the plays anyway. It was a mess. I don't remember the second half at all."

In a separate summation of Cutler's injuries, the Tennessean reported that he had three concussions but didn't elaborate.

But, in an Oct. 19 story, the Tennessean reported that Cutler left in the third quarter of a game against the University of Georgia with a "mild concussion" but returned to finish the game.

A Vanderbilt spokesman declined comment to the Sun-Times Thursday, citing federal HIPAA law.

Five different NFL general managers and personnel executives told the Sun-Times that their respective clubs did not red-flag Cutler because of head injuries when he was coming out of Vanderbilt.

If there really were three documented cases, though, NFL teams would have been alarmed.

In the 2006 season finale, when he was with the Denver Broncos, Cutler was knocked out of the game when he was drilled by then San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Anthony Adams in the second quarter.

The Broncos replaced Cutler with veteran Jake Plummer. But Plummer was 0-for-2 with an interception. In the second half, Cutler returned to the lineup.

"If he wasn't well, we wouldn't have put him in," said then Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan, who added that doctors cleared him to play.

According to the Denver Post, Cutler said he was he was "a little dinged up."

"My head was swimming a little bit," Cutler said at the time. "I cleared up and I was fine in that second half."

It was a pivotal game for the Broncos, with a playoff spot on the line, and Cutler led the Broncos on an 80-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter that tied the game 23-23.

But the 49ers won the game in overtime.

Cutler did leave the game, after the hit by Adams. But was it a concussion?

By definition, according to the Mayo Clinic, a concussion -- no matter the severity -- injures the brain.

"Concussions range in significance from minor to major, but they all share one common factor -- they temporarily interfere with the way your brain works," according to the clinic's website. "They can affect memory, judgment, reflexes, speech, balance and coordination."

Also, it would be hard to imagine the Bears approving a trade for a player with four documented concussions. As they showed in September, when they proactively placed linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer on the injured reserve, the Bears take the matter of concussions very seriously.

And per a new NFL rule, the league has set up a checks and balance system to ensure players are not rushed back too soon from concussions. In addition to team doctors, a player must get approval from an independent neurologist before he returns to the playing field.

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10 Comments

Jay is fine. However you may want to check the brain functionality of one, Lovie Smith. You want proof you say? Very well.

After the Carolina game where Todd Collins self-imploded:

"I thought Todd did some good things."

Todd's QB rating: 6.2 Ints: 4 Comp: 6/16 for 32 yards

On whether or not Jay's beatdown in the Giants game would have forced Lovie to pull him early:

"We were trying to win the football game, and Jay gave us our best option to do that. Jay wasn't thinking about coming out of the game. Everybody out there was trying to make a play. Keep in mind, it was a 3-0 game. Taking out the quarterback during that time? No, that doesn't cross my mind."

Hmm, so let's sacrifice our franchise QB and the season on a hopeless game where Cutler was getting turned into hamburger meat. Brilliant. Stay the course, sir!

Tell me Lovie's quotes aren't the words of someone with severe brain damage. Or wait, just look at his demeanor on the sidlines. If he's not standing there in a sleepy daze with his eyes glazed over then he's throwing challenge flags into space.

Jay is fine. It's Lovie I'm worried about.

I'm goob to gob Coach Smizz, sens mes back inz. I thoughts I had a fewb cumbsitions but coab Lubby Smizz saibs I not dibs hab no cumbustions. Whobs dear, leab me be alones ebil heb voizes.

GOB GEANTS!!! Wait, who do be I pay for againz? Yeah Bambie, ameba goz Vandy!!

I hope Lovie leaves and Wanny comes back so you damn haters can shut up!!!!!!!! Or maybe you geniuses who wanted Singletary to be coach can have him now, he ain't sugar honey iced tea anyways in SF. You clowns, go play some football sunday, or watch your packers lose again,lol.

It's funny Chuck how "in Lovie" you are with Lovie. Nevermind there are no less than three former head coaches trying to keep his head above water this season.

I'm not a hater Chuck - I HAVE EYES and what I see is a clueless head coach - your lovely Lovie, who has absolutely NO idea what is happening on the field. He stands on the sidelines as if he's on some form of narcotic which induces sleep while standing. He has no idea what is taking place from one play to the next and Cutler has to suffer. I honestly think that the former head coaches were brought in by Bear Brass to teach the $5 million dollar failure HOW TO COACH a football game since the Bears Brass will not release Lovie because they owe him too much. That means that we are stuck with Lovie for all 4 quarters of the season, as he likes to say. Well, let's see how that's worked in the past. Um, it hasn't. So, bring in three former head coaches and beat some sense into the My Way or the Highway Lovie. Let's hope that he either 1. Gets It or 2. Gets shown the exit.

Why does Sean find it necessary to make every sentence a new paragraph?

Anyone notice that?

Did he learn that in college journalism?

Was it picked up during his time in Minnesota?

Why do you do that, Sean?

It's not good writing.

And it is annoying.

Please stop.

Thanks.

Hey Lex,

Who do you think you are? Get off your high horse. I do that because it's better than having large chunks of type mashed together on the blog. But, I'm pretty sure it doesn't bother most of the others. I may not be Hemingway, but I certainly don't need your approval to know I'm a good writer.

And by the way, stop sending me emails. I was trying to be polite the first time, but I don't have any patience for your little "critiques."

Mike, Very clever/funny, I liked it a lot. Was that the Real SJ who replied to Lex? Either way a funny exchange.

That looks like it is actually Sean. I got a better question who the hell is Lex?

The only thing I know about Lex is that he only posts to complain about the writing. Even though he almost never writes anything. He does the same thing at the Trib blog, writes one or two posts month bashing the writers.

Sean it's intresting that you use Hemingway an example. While arguably one of the great narrative writers of all time. Hemingway used skeletal sentences and often skipped many types of internal punctuation in favor of short declarative sentences.

If I may Sean perhaps Hemingway is a bit above some readers heads. If I may make a suggestion? J. K. Rowling, something tells me Lex is a huge fan.

Lex if you know anything about writing then you know all writers have their own style. You would also know that Sean uses a journalistic style prose. On the blog he uses a more casual form of this, probably because it's a blog and not a novel despite some of my longer posts. If you know anything about this style of writing, then you know it is Sean's choice on how he presents it to the reader. He does not need to stick with a classic Prose on a freaking blog.

Lex I highly doubt that Sean is trying to win a Noble prize with a short article on a sports blog covering the Bears. Call me crzy but that is just a guess. It's a casual blog, and he is writing in a casual style. Pretty simple.

If you seek enlightened writing try these: Poe, Proust, O'Brien, Pinter, Baldwin, both Bronte sisters, O'Connor, Tolstoy, Hawthorne, Eliot, Sophocles, Steinbeck, Baudelaire, Twain, Murdoch, Shelley (Brando's fav), Dickinson, Whitman(The only man to properly eulogize Lincoln), Coleridge, Henry James, Keats, Wordsworth, Blake (scary that he may have been better at drawing), Byron, Orwell(this is probably the guy for you Lex), Euripides, Sterne (My guess is Mike would enjoy his writing), Melville, Yeats, Homer(No Lex not Simpson), Dickens (A personal favorite), Woolf, Chaucer, Dante(The Divine Comedy I highly recomend this for Brando and Kevin), Doestoyevsky, Nabokov, Beckett( Lex I recomend Beckett for you), James Joyce, Faulkner, Kafka (not a fan but that makes him no less great).

Lex now you have something to read that you won't complain about. However if you attempt to correct their collective works or any of their works, you should take a bat and knee cap yourself.

Yes, I did write a response to Lex.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. In fact, he once was critical of something I wrote on the blog, and I responded politely. But he persisted a few weeks later, and he suggested the quality of my writing on the blog was "terrible" and that I need an editor.

For all the critics out there, I'd love to have an opportunity to evaluate and nit-pick your work.

But Creighton, your assessment is correct. I pride myself in my writing, but I think of it this way. On the blog, I take the mindset of a short-order cook. Get you the goods, as soon as possible. On my stories in the paper, though, I like to spend some time, use all those fancy devices that my parents handsomely paid Northwestern University to teach me. I take the mindset of a chef at a fancy restaurant, who is trying to be creative and cook up dishes with some flair.

Maybe I don't always accomplish my goals, and maybe sometimes I fall short (ie. typos, bad posts, etc...), but I do honestly try to serve you guys the best Bears info and insight I can.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on October 14, 2010 4:41 PM.

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