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 host 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.
Del Rio fills Denver job
One of John Fox’s favorite sayings is “Next man up.”
Whenever a starter goes out, his replacement needs to step right in and keep things rolling.
This time, that next man up is defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, who’s in charge of the Denver Broncos while their coach recovers from heart surgery.
While Del Rio was running his first practice as the Broncos’ interim coach Monday, Fox was in the recovery room at Carolinas HeathCare System’s Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute in Charlotte, N.C., after having his aortic valve replaced in an operation he had hoped to delay until after the Super Bowl.
“We all wish him a speedy recovery. The best way that we could honor him is to go out and play great football,” Del Rio said after taking over a 7-1 team that’s the prohibitive Super Bowl favorite even though the Broncos trail the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs (9-0) in their own division.
Fox’s wife, Robin, issued a statement through the team that said Fox’s operation went well and he was being monitored in the hospital’s post-operative critical care unit.
Kubiak still hospitalized
Texans coach Gary Kubiak will remain hospitalized until at least today after collapsing on the field at halftime of Houston’s 27-24 loss to Indianapolis.
The team said Kubiak, 52, experienced “dizziness and a light-headed feeling” during Sunday night’s game before being taken by ambulance to a hospital. The Texans have not said what caused the problem, saying only that Kubiak has gone through a battery of tests and is with his family.
“Gary is alert, coherent and in good spirits,” General Manager Rick Smith said Monday as questions swirled about the coach’s health. “He is continuing to be evaluated and monitored.”
Kubiak will remain at the hospital for at least the next 24 hours, the team said, leaving the reeling Texans, losers of six straight, left to wonder when he’ll return.
“There was a lot of unknown,” said defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who coached the team after halftime. “Everything was unknown as to what was going on and what happened to Kube.”
Kubiak hunched over and dropped to his knees at the 24-yard line and he was immediately surrounded by medical personnel. He was taken off the field on a stretcher and put in an ambulance.
Niners cut Asomugha
Wide receiver Mario Manningham is back for the San Francisco 49ers, activated Monday from the physically unable to perform list and available for Sunday’s home game against the Carolina Panthers.
The 49ers, 6-2 and riding a five-game winning streak following the bye week, also waived cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and activated cornerback Eric Wright from the reserve/nonfootball injury list.
Manningham made 42 receptions for 449 yards and one touchdown in 12 games and 10 starts last season before injuring his left knee in a loss at Seattle Dec. 23. He has been practicing for two weeks and the Niners had until Tuesday to decide whether to add him to the 53-man roster from the PUP list.