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9-on-9: Cutler doin' work, Slaton to start, Betts tears ACL/MCL

Andy Behrens
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Here's your Eagles-Bears recap in 100 words or less, because the blogger would like to move on. L'Ours est mort. Vive l'Ours!

Jay Cutler(notes) threw four fewer interceptions in Week 11 than he did in Week 10, but Chicago finished on a disturbingly similar note. Cutler's final pass was picked, guaranteeing a four-point loss. He overthrew Greg Olsen(notes), Devin Hester(notes) and Johnny Knox(notes) on routes that should have gone for touchdowns. Eagles RB LeSean McCoy(notes) had an excellent game (20-99-1), despite losing a fumble. DeSean Jackson(notes) scored again from 40-plus. Asante Samuel(notes) suffered a stinger that requires an MRI. The turf was in terrible shape for no obvious reason. For the fifth time this season, Matt Forte(notes) gained less than 3.0 YPC.

There. Hope you learned something. Let's bullet…
Steve Slaton(notes) will start for Houston on Monday night against the Titans. For now, Ryan Moats(notes) returns to the sideline. You probably won't believe this, but Slaton fumbled twice against Tennessee back in Week 2 and he ran for just 2.0 yards per carry. [Houston Chronicle]
Ladell Betts(notes) reportedly tore both his ACL and MCL in the loss to Dallas, ending his season after a pair of useful games. Clinton Portis(notes) (concussion) is not expected to be active in Week 12, so veteran Rock Cartwright(notes) becomes the week's most obvious fantasy pickup. Expect Washington to add some uninteresting depth at running back this week. [Adam Schefter]
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin referred to Ben Roethlisberger's(notes) injury as "a concussion-oriented thing" during postgame comments. Roethlisberger himself said that he felt OK, so there's reason for cautious optimism. The Steelers travel to Baltimore in Week 12. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Kurt Warner(notes) was also mildly concussed on Sunday, but he sounds as if he also intends to play in Week 12: "I feel good. I think I'm going be just fine, but we'll take it day by day." He'll undergo neurological tests this week; if he's neurologically competent, expect him to start against the Titans. [Arizona Republic]
We don't yet know the severity of Marshawn Lynch's(notes) shoulder injury, but Fred Jackson(notes) is worth a speculative add if he happens to be available. Jackson is currently 64 percent owned. He had a touchdown negated via penalty in Sunday's loss. Here's the early (non-)news from Buffalo on Lynch: "While heading toward the team bus, Lynch said he won't know how serious the injury is until more tests are done today." [Buffalo News]
The following paragraph from the Times-Picayune tells you everything you need to know about the current health of the Saints' defense:

New Orleans was without starting defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis(notes) and starting cornerbacks Jabari Greer(notes) and Tracy Porter(notes). They also kept new cornerback Chris McAlister(notes) on the bench, deciding that he's not quite in football shape yet. During the game, cornerbacks Randall Gay(notes) and Leigh Torrence(notes) were injured, causing the Saints to use backup safety Usama Young(notes) as an emergency cornerback.

For those keeping score at home, that's four injured cornerbacks. Rookie CB Maclom Jenkins was terrific against Tampa (seven tackles, one interception, two PDs), but he's just one guy. New Orleans hosts New England next week, in a game that might end 59-56. [New Orleans Times-Picayune]
If Matthew Stafford(notes) entered Week 11 needing to win over any Lions teammates, then his fifth touchdown pass – thrown while he was in excruciating pain – should have done the trick. These were Kevin Smith's(notes) postgame comments:

"That's how tough he is," Lions running back Kevin Smith said. "And it makes me feel good, I almost want to cry – knowing you've got a teammate out there like that, he's willing to put it all on the line and there's no telling what his injury is, how serious it is. You define the type of player you are, the type of person you are. It comes down to one play with everything on the line. He could've easily let Daunte (Culpepper) come in and take the play. But he wanted to be out there."

Stafford's non-throwing shoulder was "heavily bandaged" following the game; we don't yet know his status for the Thanksgiving game against the Packers. Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz was characteristically guarded:

"The initial X-ray looks OK. There is a lot more that needs to be done. The thing we wanted to eliminate was a broken collarbone or one of those things. I'm not going to comment other than that."

Under normal circumstances we wouldn't recommend a Lions QB in a matchup with Green Bay, but the Packers lost both Aaron Kampman(notes) and Al Harris(notes) to ACL injuries in Week 11. Those two are likely done for the year. []
It wouldn't feel like a Monday morning without the Rams Report Card. If they can't boost their GPA significantly in the final semesters, the Rams are basically gonna need to ace the GRE. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]


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