Notebook: Cutler to have surgery Wednesday

League sources say Jay Cutler is flying to Colorado to undergo surgery on his broken thumb tomorrow. The Bears also made a number of roster moves today, including signing Patrick Mannelly's replacement.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, sources say quarterback Jay Cutler will undergo surgery on his broken right thumb tomorrow. The surgeon performing the procedure has years of experience executing the same surgery on skiers and snowboarders.

It's reported that Cutler's injury is what is known as a "Bennett's fracture", which is a fracture at the base of the first metacarpal bone which extends into the carpometacarpal joint, according to Wikipedia. It is the most-common type of thumb fracture. Recovery time for such an operation is typically between 6-8 weeks.

Chicago plays its final regular season game on Jan. 1 against the Minnesota Vikings. The Bears are hopeful Cutler will be able to return for that game but it's more likely he'll return after the regular season, if at all.

Laptad signed to three-year deal

The Bears today signed rookie Jake Laptad to the active roster. Laptad is a defensive end out of Kansas who spent the preseason as an undrafted free agent in camp with Chicago. He was released shortly before the season started, then was signed to the practice squad for a two-week stint in mid-October.

The Bears will use Laptad to replace Patrick Mannelly, who ruptured his ACL in Sunday's game against the Chargers, as the team's long snapper. Laptad had 10 long snaps this preseason, and was signed to the practice squad to give the coaches a chance to see if he might be able to handle a full-time gig at the position. Apparently, that audition went well.

Special teams coordinator Dave Toub spoke highly of Laptad toward the end of the preseason, saying the youngster had a bright future as a long snapper.

Mannelly is signed through 2012, so it's unclear whom the Bears will use as the long snapper after this season. If Laptad can make a splash as a defensive end, that would help secure him a roster spot going forward.

More roster moves

The Bears signed CB Joshua Moore and T Josh Davis to the practice squad today.

Moore was a fifth-round selection (141st overall) of the Bears during the 2010 NFL Draft. He appeared in three contests for Chicago last season gathering one special teams tackle.

The 6-6, 310-pound Davis spent the 2011 preseason in Bourbonnais after joining the team as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia.

Orton waived by Denver

The Denver Broncos today officially waived quarterback Kyle Orton, who spent his first four years in the league with the Bears. Chicago is in the market for a veteran quarterback to backup Caleb Hanie while Cutler is sidelined. The Bears' front office could be one of many teams putting in a waiver claim for the signal caller this week.

Yet coordinator Mike Martz has said he wants a player who understands his system to come in and serve as the team's No. 2. Orton does not fit that criteria. As such, it's doubtful the Bears will re-sign the team's former starting QB.

The club is reportedly more interested in Josh McCown. The eight-year veteran played under Martz while in Detroit in 2006.

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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.


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