NEW INFORMATION: With Rodgers sidelined, Bears beat Packers 27-20

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

5 things to know after Bears beat Packers 27-20

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- It looked harmless enough - quarterback Aaron Rodgers and backup Seneca Wallace playing a light game of toss on the sideline with the Packers on defense in the first quarter.

They were the last throws Rodgers would make Monday night in the 27-20 loss to the Chicago Bears.

"I knew he was a in a little bit of pain, but no, we didn't know what was going on," Wallace said.

Next thing Wallace knew, he was takings snaps behind center and Rodgers was headed into the locker room for tests. The nightmare scenario for every Packers fan had come to fruition.

Rodgers emerged in the third quarter wearing a Packers cap and green warmups after being diagnosed with an injured left (non-throwing) shoulder following a sack on the first series by Shea McLellin.

"We never want to see anybody get hurt, and he's one of the great, great players in our game," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "Certainly nobody wants to see him get hurt."

Oh yeah, the Bears won, with their own backup quarterback, no less.

Josh McCown, playing in place of the injured Jay Cutler, threw two touchdown passes in a victory that ended a six-game skid to its NFC North rivals and forced a three-way tie atop the division with the Lions, who were idle this week. All three teams are 5-3.

Here's more on Rodgers' injury - and four other things learned in Monday night's roller-coaster of a game.

OH, AARON: Coach Mike McCarthy hoped to have more information on the health of his star quarterback on Tuesday following more tests. Rodgers hasn't missed a game due to injury since Dec. 19, 2010.

The 2011 NFL MVP looked stoic on the sideline while trainers checked on his upper body after the sack. He later had his hands jammed into his pockets when he returned to the sideline, briefly letting out the right arm for some moments to wave to the crowd.

"He has a shoulder injury," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "They want to run more tests. They don't have an exact diagnosis. We'll have more information, probably tomorrow."

Pressed for more information, McCarthy insisted there wasn't any.

"No timeline, no exact diagnosis," he said. "That's where we're at."

BETTER BACKUP: Wallace was 11 for 19 for 114 yards and an interception. The Bears had their own quarterback issues with Cutler out with a groin injury.

McCown turned out to be more than a suitable replacement. He finished 22 of 41 for 272 yards and two touchdowns.

The 11th-year veteran from Sam Houston State will remember this game for a while.

"It would be hard to find one better than this," he said. "This is really neat because it means so much to our team ... and is for the divisional lead."

PULLING AWAY: The Bears locked the game up an 18-play, 80-yard drive in the fourth quarter that started with 9:48 left and ended with a 27-yard field goal by Robbie Gould for a seven-point lead with 53 seconds left. Chicago converted on a fourth-and-1 at its own 32 with a 4-yard run by Forte.

Trestman didn't rely on statistics in making the gutsy call. "It was a sense that we needed to stay on the field and I felt that we could," he said.

ON THE RUN: The Packers lost their starting quarterback but got a breakout game from rookie running back Eddie Lacy.

The 5-foot-11 Lacy bulldozed his way to 150 yards on 22 carries, including a career-best 56-yarder that set up his 1-yard touchdown run that tied the game at 17 in the third quarter.

He was a handful all game long, like on a 12-yard run up the left sideline that ended with Bears safety Major Wright spinning to the ground. Lacy pounded his chest with his right hand and yelled nearby, as if proclaiming his arrival in the Monday night spotlight.

WHO'S NEXT: Calling Matt Flynn?

Jettisoned this season by Oakland and Buffalo, Flynn has had success in Green Bay as Rodgers' backup. Flynn set the franchise record for passing yards in a game with 480 on Jan. 1, 2012 against the Lions, starting when a healthy Rodgers rested for the playoffs. Rodgers tied that record in September in a win over the Redskins.

McCarthy's focus was trained on his current roster.

"Player acquisition, I really have nothing for you," he said. "I'm focused on Seneca Wallace right now."

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Aaron Rodgers stood helplessly on the sideline in green warmups, hands jammed inside his pockets.

The Packers lost more than just sole possession of first place in the NFC North after falling 27-20 Monday night to the Chicago Bears.

An injury to Rodgers' left (non-throwing) shoulder knocked perhaps the most irreplaceable player in the NFL out in the game's first series, and porous fourth-quarter defense finished off Green Bay's comeback chances against their fierce divisional rivals.

Coach Mike McCarthy said more tests were needed on Rodgers, and that he hoped to know more on Tuesday.

"No timeline, no exact diagnosis," McCarthy said. "That's where we're at."

And they may be in big trouble, too, if the 2011 NFL MVP is out for any significant length of time. Rodgers was hurt after getting pulled down from behind by Shea McClellin, one of three sacks on the night for the defensive end.

Backup Seneca Wallace was 11 of 19 for 114 yards and an interception. Rodgers was 1 of 2 for 27 yards before departing. Starter and backup played toss for a couple minutes, but Rodgers soon afterward was headed off the field for tests.

"I knew he was in a little bit of pain, but didn't know what was going on," Wallace said.

Wallace hadn't played in a game since Jan. 1, 2012, when he was with the Browns - a 13-9 loss to the Steelers.

On Monday night at least, the Bears had a better insurance policy at quarterback.

Josh McCown, playing in place of the injured Jay Cutler, threw for two touchdowns to help the Bears end a six-game skid to Green Bay. The loss snapped Green Bay's four-game winning streak, and forged a three-way tie at 5-3 atop the division between the Packers, Bears and Detroit Lions, who had a bye this week.

Bears return specialist Devin Hester likened the Packers without Rodgers to the X-Men without one of their most valuable members.

"Fighting the X-Man and the Wolverine goes down," Hester said. "He's like the bread-and-butter of their team."

Alshon Jeffery had five catches for 60 yards, including a 6-yard grab for the go-ahead touchdown at the end of the third quarter. Brandon Marshall, largely shut down in two games against Green Bay last year, had seven catches for 107 yards and a score. Matt Forte ran for 125 yards and a TD, and also had 54 yards receiving.

"We have a long road ahead. It doesn't mean much right now," Trestman said about the first-place tie. "It will mean a lot more down the road here."

The loss spoiled another big night by Green Bay rookie Eddie Lacy, who ran for 150 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. The rejuvenated running game also featured a 32-yard touchdown run from James Starks in the first quarter.

All of it overshadowed by Rodgers' injury, the latest in a season filled with bad health news for Green Bay.

James Jones (knee) returned Monday night after a two-game absence, but sackmaster Clay Matthews (thumb) and tight end Jermichael Finley (neck) are still out. Wide receiver Randall Cobb (leg) is also on the injured list-designated to return, and offensive lineman T.J. Lang (concussion) and linebacker Andy Mulumba (ankle) were also banged up during the game.

But a hurt Aaron Rodgers is Green Bay's ultimate nightmare. He hasn't missed a game due to injury since Dec. 19, 2010.

"Aaron's a huge part of our offense," McCarthy said. "This is a thing that's been built over time with Aaron as the centerpiece. I don't think it's realistic to put anyone in there and expect him to perform" like Rodgers.

Rodgers, though, doesn't play defense, and Green Bay played poorly on that side of the ball in the fourth quarter.

The Bears locked the game up with an 18-play, 80-yard drive in the fourth quarter that started with 9:48 left and ended with a 27-yard field goal by Robbie Gould for a seven-point lead with 53 seconds left. Chicago converted on a fourth-and-1 at its own 32 with a 4-yard run by Forte, and added two third-down conversions later in the drive.

"Frustrating, man, really frustrating," Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji said. "That's not like us. But give the Bears credit."
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Josh McCown won the battle of the backups after Aaron Rodgers was hurt, getting lots of help from Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte to give the Chicago Bears a 27-20 win over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night.

The victory snapped Green Bay's six-game winning streak over its NFC North rival. But of far larger concern is the health of Rodgers, who hurt his left, non-throwing shoulder when he was sacked on the game's first series by Shea McClellin. Rodgers took a few warm-up throws but, after being examined by medical staff, he ran into the Green Bay locker room. He wasn't seen again until midway through the third quarter.

With Rodgers out, the Bears (5-3) took advantage of the Packers (5-3). Marshall had seven catches for 107 yards and a touchdown, and Forte ran for 125 yards and another score.

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