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Chicago defends handling of Cutler

– Coach Lovie Smith said the Chicago Bears properly handled quarterback Jay Cutler’s concussion on Sunday night.

Smith said trainers immediately examined Cutler during a replay review after he took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Houston’s Tim Dobbins late in the second quarter of a 13-6 loss to the Texans.

He said Cutler showed no symptoms of a concussion immediately after the hit, so the quarterback finished out the half. Symptoms showed up at intermission, and Cutler wound up sitting out the second half, putting his status for next Monday’s game at San Francisco in question.

Cutler will need to pass neurological and psychological tests and be cleared by both his team doctors and an independent neurological consultant before he can return. The same goes for defensive end Shea McClellin, who left early in the game with a concussion.

Smith said both players were feeling “a lot better” Monday.

“We do have a history with players, have a history with Jay, (former linebacker) Hunter Hillenmeyer,” Smith said. “Every football team has players that they’ve gone through with concussions. And that’s not just with concussions. We do that with all of our players with any injury that they have. We’ll never put a guy at risk.”

Colts moves

Indianapolis lost starting cornerback Jerraud Powers and defensive tackle Drake Nevis for the rest of the season after both were placed on injured reserve. Powers injured the big toe on his right foot. Nevis hurt his hand in Thursday’s victory at Jacksonville.

Indianapolis (6-3) activated rookie nose tackle Josh Chapman, a fifth-round pick out of Alabama.

Chapman has been on the reserve-non-football injury list since the start of training camp after playing most of his final college season with a torn ACL in his left knee.

The Colts also activated rookie tight end Kyle Miller from the practice squad.

Costly punt return

The NFL said the 76-yard punt return by Denver’s Trindon Holliday against Carolina on Sunday should have been ruled a touchback, not a touchdown.

Replays showed Holliday prematurely celebrating the TD by flipping the ball out of his hands before crossing the goal line.

The play cost Panthers special teams coordinator his job. Carolina coach Ron Rivera fired Brian Murphy on Monday, citing Holliday’s touchdown. Rivera promoted Richard Rodgers to replace Murphy.

Around the league

Green Bay placed offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga on the injured reserve list with an injured hip. …

Philadelphia coach Andy Reid said Michael Vick suffered a “pretty significant” concussion. If Vick can’t play Sunday at Washington, rookie Nick Foles will get the start. …

An MRI on Broncos defensive lineman Elvis Dumervil’s left shoulder showed no tear. Coach John Fox said the injury is a muscle strain and the Broncos would know more when they return to practice Wednesday. …

Houston defensive line coach Bill Kollar did not travel home from Chicago with the team because of a possible blood clot. Kollar missed Sunday night’s game against the Bears because of the issue.