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Flashback #100: Jay Cutler Breaks Thumb (2011)

Jay Cutler. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

Jay Cutler. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

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As of 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary on January 3rd, the station has begun to reveal (in chronological order) the Top 100 Chicago Sports Stories that have occurred since they first went on the air 20 years ago. Once all 100 of these “flashbacks” have been revealed, fans will be able to vote for which stories they believe are the most significant in the 20 year history of The Score. To see all of the Flashbacks that The Score has posted so far, please visit 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary page.

November 20, 2011 – Jay Cutler breaks thumb

When the final seconds ran off the clock in the Bears’ seventh win of the season, fans all over the city of Chicago rejoiced.

The team had won its fifth-straight game, and the offense appeared to be clicking on all cylinders. The Bears offense was averaging 26.8 points per game and they appeared to be a lock for one of the two remaining Wild Card spots.

That joy quickly turned to panic when reports began to surface that Jay Cutler had fracture his thumb in the Bears win.

Cutler suffered the injury with 10 minutes, 3 seconds left in the fourth quarter of the Bears’ 31-20 win over the Chargers while attempting to tackle cornerback Antoine Cason after Cason’s interception.

Early reports indicated Cutler would be out for 6-8 weeks, which would bring him back just in time for the playoffs.

Backup quarterback Caleb Hanie had little experience, but had a promising performance when he took over for Cutler in the NFC Championship game when Cutler went down with a knee injury.

The Bears remaining games featured the Raiders, Chiefs, Broncos, Seahawks, Packers and Vikings. It appeared as though the Bears would need to win two of their final six games to squeak into the playoffs.

What happened next, though, nobody could have predicted.

Hanie looked ill-prepared in his debut as a starting quarterback in the NFL. In his four starts, the Bears went 0-4  with Hanie completing 51-102 passes for 613 yards, three touchdowns and nine interceptions. He was benched in favor of the recently-signed Josh McCown with two games to play in the season.

McCown went 1-1 in his two starts, completing 33-55 passes for 414 yards with 2 touchdowns and four inceptions.

The Bears finished the season 8-8, missing the playoffs.

The Score will continue to release a new Flashback each weekday until they reach 100. Check back tomorrow for a new one, or check out all of the previous Flashbacks: 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary »