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Bears defeat Lions to maintain NFC North lead

Jay Cutler shook off an apparent rib injury, Brian Urlacher made a key fumble recovery and the Bears won their fourth straight, beating the Lions, 13-7, Monday night in Chicago.

The NFC North leaders prevailed after a week off and possibly buried Detroit (2-4) despite getting a major scare. That happened in the second quarter when Cutler was sacked by Ndamukong Suh and ultimately went to the locker room to have his ribs examined.

Cutler started the second half and completed 16 of 31 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown for the Bears (5-1).

It was a huge blow for last-place Detroit, a team many expected to contend for the division championship after making the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade.

Panthers fire GM Hurney

The Panthers fired general manager Marty Hurney one day after quarterback Cam Newton expressed his frustration with a 1-5 start. Hurney had been the GM since 2002.

"I understand the decision," he said. "I'm responsible for everyone in the scouting department, on the coaching staff and in the locker room, and it all comes down to wins and losses."

Newton experienced virtually no losses before becoming a pro, and he was the 2011 Offensive Rookie of the Year. But this season has been a struggle, and he seemed at a loss for solutions after Sunday's 19-14 loss to the Cowboys.

Brandon Beane, the team's director of football operations, will handle day-to-day football matters until a new GM is hired, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

Norv: Chargers don't use Stickum

Coach Norv Turner said nobody from the Chargers used Stickum in a 35-24 loss to the Broncos on Oct. 15 or in any other game. Turner was reacting to an NFL investigation into whether the Chargers used a banned sticky substance during the Denver game.

Turner said his team does use a towel, which is used by "a lot of teams in this league," to dry the ball, gloves worn by players and their arms. He said the NFL is looking into the towel.

Around the league

Packers safety Charles Woodson (broken collarbone) will miss about six weeks . . . The Chargers placed kicker Nate Kaeding on injured reserve and plan to release him after he recovers from a groin injury . . . Tight end Chris Cooley passed a physical and agreed to rejoin the Redskins a day after tight end Fred Davis was lost for the season with an Achilles tendon injury. -- AP

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