Jay Cutler came back Monday, but his best blockers didn’t.
The Bears faced the Vikings without both their Pro Bowl guards, Kyle Long and Josh Sitton, who were ruled inactive. Long’s absence wasn’t a surprise; since leaving the Packers game with a triceps injury, he had yet to practice.
Sitton, though, had practiced a limited basis twice last week, and said Saturday he’d push to play. He missed the Packers game after spraining his right ankle on the penultimate offensive play of the Jaguars game.
“If it’s something the doctor’s going to override you on,” he said, “then you’ve gotta have to listen to him.”
Eric Kush, who started for Sitton in Green Bay, got the nod again at left guard. Ted Larsen made his first start of the season at right guard.
Before Monday, Long had started the most consecutive games in a Bears jersey, 24. That distinction now belongs to safety Adrian Amos, who started his 24th-straight game against the Vikings.
For the fourth time in as many home games this season, the Bears didn’t allow a first-half touchdown. The Vikings’ final drive of the frame wasn’t without drama, though. Pernell McPhee’s third-down sack of Sam Bradford near midfield was canceled out by a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of defensive end Cornelius Washington, who left the sideline to celebrate.
With new life, the Vikings drove to the Bears’ 4, but ran four offensive plays without scoring. Akiem Hicks’ sack on third down forced a 30-yard Blair Walsh field goal.
This and that
• With Bryce Callahan (hamstring) out, Cre’Von LeBlanc started at cornerback and moved inside to the slot in nickel packages, with De’Vante Bausby playing outside.
• Rookie tight end Ben Braunecker made his first career catch, an eight-yarder in the second quarter that set up Jordan Howard’s two-yard run on the next play.
• With 5:19 left in the first quarter, head linesman Ed Walker slipped while running down the sideline and was carted off the field with a leg injury.