The Oakland Raiders continued rolling on Sunday with a dominating win (even if the final score didn't show it) over the Minnesota Vikings. They moved to 6-4 and maintain first-place in the AFC West division over the San Diego Chargers, who lost on Sunday as well. They expected a tough test this coming week with a big game against the Chicago Bears, but overnight, the entire scope of the game has changed significantly.
There are multiple reports that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler significantly injured his thumb on his right hand - his throwing hand - in the fourth quarter of a game against the Chargers, a game which ended 31-20 in Chicago's favor. Cutler made a touchdown-saving tackle (of sorts) on Antoine Cason after throwing an interception. Cutler went on to finish the game, but it appears the damage is done.
A broken thumb would put Cutler out for a number of weeks, which could effectively end his season. There's been a couple preliminary reports that mention he could return for the playoffs, but with the injury comes the obvious note that it affects the Raiders here and now. Oakland was likely set to prepare for Cutler, guiding the resurgent Bears offense effectively, but now, what do they worry about? Caleb Hanie would likely be the guy that Chicago turns to, and it definitely changes things.
Oakland might have been looking at a matchup between two high-caliber quarterbacks in Cutler and Carson Palmer, but now it's looking like the Silver and Black could be favored by a wide margin, if Cutler really does have to miss some time. It's kind of ironic that Cutler is getting hurt on a play in which he's doing the tackling, with the unrelenting beating he's taken from almost every team that's played the Bears this season.