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Jason Campbell to start for Bears with Jay Cutler out

Jay Cutler will miss at least one start following the concussion he suffered against the Houston Texans last week.



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The Chicago Bears announced Friday that Jason Campbell will indeed start on Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers. Campbell will meet with the media Friday.

It's never a good time to lose a starting quarterback, but this is especially crushing for the Bears. Cutler carries Chicago's offense because their receiver group is limited, their scheme isn't tough to prepare for and the offensive line is leaky. Now Campbell has to take on the NFC's best defense -- outside of Chicago -- one week after facing the AFC's best defense.

Star receiver Brandon Marshall said Cutler is getting better, but also said there's a bigger picture that goes beyond this week's game. Last year, Cutler broke his right thumb late in a win over San Diego. Chicago was 7-3, but went into a free fall, finishing 8-8 and costing general manager Jerry Angelo his job. Campbell was signed to a one-year contract by new general manager Phil Emery during the off-season.

"(Campbell)'s the next guy up and he's more than capable," Marshall said, via The Associated Press. "I think when you look at what happened to the Bears last year, I think that's the reason why he's here. He's more than capable and we're fortunate to have a starting quarterback as our backup."

The 49ers are cautiously expected to have quarterback Alex Smith available after he suffered a concussion last week, which won't help Chicago either. This is a game that could wind up deciding seeding in the NFC. There's also a growing chance the Green Bay Packers will be able to pass the Bears if Cutler doesn't get healthy soon.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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