1. As it turns out, we haven’t seen the last of Jay Cutler under center in Chicago. Riding a four-game streak of 300-yard performances, Brian Hoyer was in the driver’s seat to keep the Bears quarterback job when he suffered a broken arm on a Julius Peppers hit in the second quarter of Thursday night’s game. The nature of the injury suggests Hoyer’s 2016 season is likely over, leaving Cutler as the obvious choice to start once his sprained thumb heals.
Hoyer’s absence is interesting timing, as Bears CEO Ted Phillips had just warned NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport that it’s premature to rule out Cutler’s return this season. With the guaranteed portion of Cutler’s seven-year, $ 126.7 million contract running dry, the organization is expected to consider cutting ties next offseason. The final two months of the season will provide Cutler with an opportunity to salvage his future in the Windy City. If the 11-year veteran isn’t ready to return next week, Matt Barkley will be thrown to the wolves against the Vikings‘ top-ranked defense.
2. The lone Green Bay receiver capable of getting open with consistency, Adams mixed double moves with comeback and curl routes to fall one catch shy of Hall of Famer Don Hutson’s long-standing (1942) single-game franchise record for receptions. It was a surprisingly strong performance for a receiver who had spent the early portion of the week in the NFL’s concussion protocol.
Adams, Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery combined for 34 receptions as the Packers joined the 1994 Patriots as the only team since the 1970 merger with three different players notching at least 10 catches in a game. Jordy Nelson, meanwhile, was limited to just one reception for nine yards. Nelson did manage to sneak open twice, but Aaron Rodgers failed to spot him. The chemistry between the two remains elusive, in large part because Nelson has yet to recapture his 2014 pre-injury form.