Chicago starter Grossman ruptures ACL

Updated: September 29, 2004, 9:13 AM ET
Associated Press

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman will miss the rest of the season after rupturing a ligament in his right knee.

Rex Grossman
Chicago Bears
Att Comp PaTD RuTD Int Rat
84 47 1 1 3 67.9

"In a split second, I knew I was out for the year," Grossman said Monday. "It's devastating."

Backup quarterback Jonathan Quinn, who signed with the Bears in March, will become the starter. Chad Hutchinson on Monday also agreed to terms on a two-year deal contingent on Hutchinson, who played 10 games two seasons ago with the Cowboys before being waived, passing a physical.

Grossman was injured in Sunday's 27-22 loss to the Minnesota Vikings when he scored on a 6-yard scramble at the 2-minute warning. He left the stadium wearing a brace and using a crutch. An MRI exam confirmed the anterior cruciate ligament tear.

Grossman is expected to undergo surgery in a couple of weeks and will face up to 10 months of rehabilitation.

"Personally, all I can do is work as hard as I can, do what the doctors tell me to do, get healthy and learn the offense," Grossman said. "[The injury] just postponed my excitement for playing football for a little bit."

Grossman was the fourth quarterback chosen in the 2003 NFL draft and started the final three games of the season for Chicago last year. On Sunday, he completed 21 of 31 passes for 248 yards.

Quinn played in 11 games -- three starts -- in four seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Sunday was the first time he attempted a pass in the regular season since Nov. 18, 2001. Quinn threw three straight incompletions and was sacked on fourth down during the Bears' last-minute drive against the Vikings.

Quinn said he knows the pressure on him will increase.

"It's tough, but that's the life of a backup," he said. "That's your job and that's what you're here to do and that's what I'm prepared to do."

Quinn is familiar with the Bears offense because last year he was a backup in Kansas City under current Bears offensive coordinator Terry Shea.

"He's a very talented passer and understands this offense, but hasn't really had a chance to play," coach Lovie Smith said. "This will obviously give him a chance to show what he can do."

When Hutchinson was with the Cowboys, he started the final nine games of 2002 and led the team in passing. He threw for 1,555 yards while completing 127 of 250 passes with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Hutchinson joined the Cowboys after playing baseball for four years with the St. Louis Cardinals' organization. He briefly made it to the majors in 2001 before returning to football.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press