Bears likely to re-sign Josh McCown

  • Jeff Dickerson [ARCHIVE]
  • ESPNChicago.com | November 12, 2012

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- With Jay Cutler's status in question, the Chicago Bears are expected to re-sign veteran quarterback Josh McCown, a league source confirmed on Monday.

Cutler suffered a concussion that kept him out of the second half of the Bears' 13-6 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday night. The Bears will need another experienced backup behind No. 2 quarterback Jason Campbell if Cutler can't play against the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 19.

The NFL on Monday said it reviewed Chicago's handling of the concussion suffered by Cutler and determined the team correctly followed concussion protocol, according to a league spokesman.

The spokesman added the NFL reviews with team medical staffs on all significant injuries.

The NFL sent a memo last December to all 32 teams informing them of a modified sideline protocol and a new standardized sideline concussion-assessment protocol, which the Bears apparently properly followed.

The league requires teams to place certified athletic trainers in the press box to help monitor head injuries. The trainers can notify medical staff on the sideline of any potential head injuries.

Teams are reportedly required to provide accurate and timely injury information during games. The Bears announced Cutler's injury just as the third quarter started.

Standard protocol suggests Cutler will be evaluated this week with a brain-function test called ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing). The league has required players to establish baseline tests of brain function since 2007.

The Bears chose to cut McCown at the end of the preseason and keep just two quarterbacks on their 53-man roster even though McCown completed 20 of 29 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns in the team's final preseason game versus the Cleveland Browns.

The Bears likely wanted to avoid having to guarantee McCown, a veteran of 10 NFL seasons, his entire salary as a vested veteran if he made the Week 1 active roster.

McCown appeared in three games and made two starts for the Bears at the end of last season and completed 63.6 percent of his passes. The Bears went 1-1 in the games McCown started.

The Bears have quarterback Matt Blanchard on their practice squad, but it's unclear whether the club would feel comfortable asking the rookie to serve as Campbell's backup in the event Cutler is forced to miss any time.

ESPNChicago.com's Michael C. Wright contributed to this report.

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