The Chicago Bears have named Jay Cutler their starting quarterback for Sunday’s crucial game against the Detroit Lions. Coming off a short week following Monday night’s game, the Bears’ practice schedule is a little off this week, so when they returned to action on Thursday, Cutler was a go in practice. Following practice, head coach Marc Trestman broke the news:
Trestman says Cutler took every rep in practice today. “He’s cleared to play and so he’s going to play,” said Trestman.
— Zach Zaidman (@ZachZaidman) November 7, 2013
Unofficial team doctor Brandon Marshall predicted an early return for the starting quarterback, but most observers scoffed at the idea of a quick turnaround.
The news is a little surprising on a couple of fronts. First, Cutler’s injury was deemed a 4 week injury, to be evaluated on a week to week basis thereafter. Coming back just two weeks later is surprising, especially if you watched Cutler struggle to get off the field and into the locker room in Washington.
The other reason it’s surprising is that Josh McCown has performed very well in Jay Cutler’s absence. He almost led the Bears to a shootout win in DC before the bye and played an efficient and smart game against a stunned and hobbled Packers team to lead the Bears to a 27-20 victory.
Cutler will be thrown into the deep end of the pool on Sunday facing a very tough and physical Detroit Lions defense. Cutler has had a few run ins with Ndamukong Suh, so he’d better be sure his groin is well protected, as I’m sure Suh will make every effort to test the durability of Cutler’s groin.
I personally would like to see Cutler sit for another week and be sure he’s fully healed before getting thrown into the fire. With a three-way tie atop the division, the game on Sunday against the Lions is certainly important, but the Bears can’t be shortsighted. They should be in the race until the end.
What do you think? Should Cutler play on Sunday? Do you think McCown has earned another start?