The injury bug bit the Bears Saturday night, wreaking havoc on their second string.
Perhaps the most painful injury hit backup quarterback Caleb Hanie.
Hanie's sprained shoulder, Cutler needs to stay healthy because rookie QB Dan LeFevour is just not ready for the spotlight. One blogger went as far as to suggest that because of Hanie's injury, Cutler shouldn't play a single down in the pre-season. Though it wouldn't be fair to fans who bought tickets to pre-season games, the chance of injury would be too much.
The good news is that the Bears are expected to sign Matt Gutierrez as a backup sometime today. The bad news is that he has limited experience, and is nowhere near the QB that the Bears could have had in Todd Collins. The Bears are putting a lot of stock in both Cutler's ability to stay healthy and Hanie's abilities.
The secondary has taken the biggest hit from injuries. Safety Danieal Manning didn't play against the Chargers because of a nagging hamstring injury. His backup, Craig Steltz, suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter and won't play this Saturday against the Raiders. Safety Major Wright was turning heads until he broke his finger, an injury that required surgery.
Hunter Hillenmeyer, who has been pushed to the second string with Brian Urlacher's return and the outstanding play of Nick Roach and Pisa Tinoisamoa, is also hurting. He left Saturday's game with a foot injury, and hasn't practiced much because of it.
It's early in the pre-season, and the regular season opener isn't until Sept. 12. Hopefully, the Bears can recover -- and avoid more injuries -- by then.