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Chalk Talk


Will Josh McCown start again versus Lions?

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on

Because Josh McCown played so well against the Packers, do you think the Bears will hold off on bringing Jay Cutler back right away?

Keelan M. on Twitter

It's great to have an insurance policy in Josh McCown, a quality backup who's capable of stepping in and performing as well as he did against the Redskins and Packers. But I don't think the Bears would rush Jay Cutler back onto the field before he was healthy in any case. Believe me, you want to be able to run without pain or any limp when Ndamukong Suh is chasing you. What I suspect will happen is that Cutler will test his injured groin at some point in practice this week and see how he feels, and coach Marc Trestman will consult with the medical staff before making a final decision about who will start Sunday against the Lions.

With Monday night's win, there's a three-way tie atop the NFC North, but the Bears are in third. How do the Packers hold a tiebreaker over the Bears?

Tommy W.
Muncie, Indiana

That's because, if the season ended today, the three-way tie between the Bears, Lions and Packers would be broken by the fourth tiebreaker, which is conference record. The Lions are currently 4-2, the Packers are 3-2 and the Bears are 3-3. The three teams are deadlocked in the first three tiebreakers; they're all 1-1 against each other, 2-1 versus division opponents and 2-1 in games against common opponents. Of course, you could debate whether the Steelers should be considered a common opponent at this point, for example, because the Bears have already played them and the Packers and Lions will face them later in the season.

What is the Bears' record now when Jay Cutler misses a start because of injury?

Stanley F.
Bolingbrook, Illinois

With Monday night's win over the Packers, the Bears are now 3-6 when Jay Cutler misses a start due to injury. They beat the Panthers in 2010 even though Todd Collins had a miserable day, completing just 6 of 16 passes for 32 yards with four interceptions. In 2011, Caleb Hanie went 0-4 before Josh McCown split the final two games of the season, losing in Green Bay and winning in Minnesota. The Bears lost their only game without Cutler last year, when Jason Campbell was sacked five times and threw two interceptions in a 32-7 defeat in San Francisco.

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