Jay Cutler to Miss at Least Two Weeks with Hamstring Strain
Quarterback Jay Cutler is expected to miss “at least” two weeks after suffering a hamstring strain in Sunday’s loss against the Arizona Cardinals. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter just a few hours after head coach John Fox addressed the media and announced the injury, but offered up no timetable.
As noted, the team will now turn to Jimmy Clausen who came in relief of Cutler and at times looking lost in the offense. Clausen finished Sunday’s game against Arizona going 14-23 for 121 yards and 1 interception thrown.
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The latest Cutler injury will now make it the sixth consecutive season in which he has missed at least one regular season game for the Bears. Only once since arriving in Chicago has Cutler played all 16 games (2009 season), and he has only played three full seasons in his 10-year career.
While the team suffered an ugly loss to Arizona and a disappointing loss to the Green Bay Packers, Cutler was making strides in the new offense under John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase. With a less than healthy receiving core that gave him little help, Cutler had thrown for 345 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, while posting a quarterback rating of 78.5.
Now the team turns it over to Jimmy Clausen gets a tough welcome under center next Sunday when the team travels to Seattle to take on the Seahawks who are also looking for their first win. Seattle is one of the toughest places to play, so Clausen is going to have a tough task at hand preparing for an extremely loud atmosphere and one of the league’s best defenses.
Last season Clausen made one regular season start as Cutler was benched and he didn’t play all that bad against a playoff-bound Detroit Lions team. In Week 16, Clausen went 23-39 for 181 yards, two touchdowns and one interception while the Bears fell to Detroit 20-14.
That game was under former head coach Marc Trestman’s system, Clausen’s shot this year comes under a whole new offense with Fox and Gase, and that should also include a short leash. The Bears did not come into this season with much respect from rankings and experts around the league, but they do deserve to be competitive.
Clausen looked less than impressive on Sunday which also means he shouldn’t be a lock into the quarterback job while Cutler is out. The team does have David Fales back on the roster and his talent is all but a mystery. He played well in the preseason and while he was cut, the team quickly re-signed him. If they want him on the roster, they should give him a chance to play.
Fales is the unknown in the quarterback group and that could very well be a good thing for the Bears. Clausen could certainly make strides with a full week of practice but if he carries over Sunday’s performance against Arizona into Seattle, then Fales should be considered for the second half against the Seahawks, or for a chance to start Week 4 against the Raiders.
The “couple of weeks” time frame will have Cutler missing both the Seahawks and Raiders games, with a return scheduled against the Kansas City Chiefs. While nothing is set in stone, one thing is for sure, the Bears need Cutler to return as quickly as possible, when he’s fully healthy.
Next: A Fan's Non-Expert Take on Week 2 Loss