The Chicago Bears have won five straight games entering Week 12 of the 2011 NFL regular season, but they suffered a major blow Sunday with quarterback Jay Cutler suffering a broken right thumb on his right throwing hand.
Oddsmakers had to make an adjustment in the Super Bowl futures market, which established the Bears at a price of +2000 going into yesterday's 31-20 home win over the San Diego Chargers, dropping the betting odds to +2500 Monday morning.
The injury comes at an unfortunate time due to Chicago locked in a tie with the Detroit Lions in the NFC North divisional race and in the hunt for a wild-card spot.
Cutler suffered the injury in the fourth quarter after throwing an interception Sunday, attempting to tackle Chargers cornerback Antoine Cason.
The six-year veteran was putting together arguably his best performance of the season before the incident, finishing up with 286 passing yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
With the potential loss of Cutler for the remainder of the season, Chicago must turn to backup quarterback Caleb Hanie, who has thrown just 14 career passes for 66 yards and no touchdowns in this three seasons in the league.
The great unknown under center severely damages the Bears' chances of potentially walking away with the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5, 2012 inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
A road to the playoffs just got easier for the Lions, but anything is possible when the Bears line up against the rest of the AFC West division the next three weeks.