Lake Forest, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bears revealed Monday that starting quarterback Jay Cutler has a torn muscle in his groin and will be sidelined for a minimum of four weeks.
Cutler sustained the injury while being sacked in the second quarter of what turned out to be a very costly 45-41 setback at Washington on Sunday. In addition to Cutler, the Bears also lost seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs for a significant amount of time after he fractured his shoulder during the game.
The Bears announced Briggs is expected to miss six weeks.
Cutler had been performing well in new head coach Marc Trestman's system, having completed nearly 65 percent of his passes for 1,658 yards and 12 touchdowns through the first seven games and helping Chicago get off to a 4-2 start.
Though the Bears are entering a bye week, Cutler's unavailability still comes at an inopportune time. Chicago travels to NFC North rival Green Bay following the off week and has another important divisional game the subsequent week, when the team hosts Detroit. The Bears are currently tied with the Lions in the standings, a half-game behind the Packers.
Journeyman Josh McCown will take over the reins of the offense during Cutler's absence. The 34-year-old did throw for 204 yards and a touchdown while hitting on 14-of-20 throws in his relief stint against the Redskins.
"He's going to put us in position to win games," said Trestman of McCown during his Monday press conference.
Briggs' injury, meanwhile, further depletes a linebacker corps that had fellow starter D.J. Williams go down with a season-ending pectorals tear in a win over the New York Giants the previous week.
The 32-year-old Briggs, who serves as Chicago's on-field signal-caller on defense, was in the midst of another strong campaign. The 11-year veteran had amassed 64 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and eight passes defensed over seven games.
"We're losing a great leader in Lance," said Trestman. "We're going to have to work very hard to recover."