- Associated Press - Sunday, November 25, 2012

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears got Jay Cutler back from a concussion, only to lose three more stars to injuries.

Start with Devin Hester. Add Matt Forte and Charles Tillman to the list, and just for good measure, throw in two starting guards.

Consider this a painful win.

Cutler threw for 188 yards and a touchdown after missing a game, and the Bears broke it open early in a 28-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

The injuries, however, tempered some of the good feelings.

Tied with Green Bay for the NFC North lead and just a game ahead of Minnesota (6-5) coming in, the Bears (8-3) grabbed a 25-3 halftime lead thanks to Cutler’s pinpoint passing. The defense held Adrian Peterson in check early on, although he finished with 108 yards rushing.

Chicago also came away with three more takeaways to increase its total from a league-leading 30 entering the game to 33.

The rather easy win came after back-to-back losses to Houston and San Francisco, but it also came with a heavy price.

The Bears lost Hester, a receiver and record-setting return specialist, early to a concussion. And that was just the start.

Forte, their top running back, hobbled to the tunnel midway through the third quarter with an ankle injury. Coach Lovie Smith said Tillman, their star cornerback, also hurt his ankle.

Besides those three, the Bears lost both guards in the third quarter to knee sprains, with Lance Louis and Chris Spencer going down. Louis‘ injury on a blindside hit by Jared Allen as Antoine Winfield returned an interception forced Chicago to go with Gabe Carimi, who lost the right tackle job to Jonathan Scott.

Spencer, meanwhile, was in the lineup after Chilo Rachal left the team.

If the Bears are going to develop any continuity on the line, well, don’t expect it anytime soon.

“I don’t think it’s possible now,” Cutler said. “With all the moving parts we have and Lance going down, you’re not going to have that. We’re going to have to roll with the guys we have and see what we have, lean on our defense as we have before, run the ball well. Be efficient through the air. See how far we go.”

As for Cutler, he looked sharp after missing Monday’s blowout loss at San Francisco.

Story Continues →