Cutler sustained the high left ankle sprain in Sunday's loss to the Detroit Lions. This injury came just 21 days after Cutler tore a groin muscle (Ouch!) in his left leg on October 20th in a loss to the Washington Redskins. It was his first game back since that injury. Cutler insisted that he was feeling 100 percent, but it was clear as the game wore on that his groin was bothering him. After one third-quarter throw he grabbed his groin and fell to the ground. He stood up and stayed in the remainder of the game, until he was pulled.
Coach Marc Trestman said Monday, "I think you all know he's got a high ankle sprain. He got it rolled up. It
"I thought offensively he had one of his best games. I asked [the trainers] if the groin was an issue at all, [and they] didn't feel that there was. They told me even today, if he hadn't rolled up the ankle, he would have been able to play today."
Depending on how severe Cutler's sprain is, he may be out four to six weeks. In the meantime, the Bears will start backup quarterback Josh McCown on Sunday. McCown played in Sunday's loss with 2:17 left in the game. He led the Bears to a 10-play, 74-yard drive capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall.
Cutler sustained the injury with 2:56 left in the first half when he was hit by Detroit linebacker Stephen Tulloch as he completed a 12-yard completion to Alshon Jeffrey. On the next play Cutler appeared in obvious pain. Cutler was pulled after a short-hopped pass to Jeffrey in the fourth quarter.
"If you look at it closely, there was an indication that we should take Jay out," said Trestman. "It was on the last throw (of the fourth quarter as Cutler was pressured by Nick Fairley). He climbed the pocket. It was an awkward throw, and he threw the ball into the ground to Alshon."
"I just felt really restricted in the pocket in what I was able to do and it wasn't getting out as quick and some of the throws didn't have as much on them as I wanted," Cutler said. "And I knew Josh was ready to go and I just didn't want to get to a point where I was hurting us more than I was helping us."
Trestman was reluctant to pull Cutler as he was playing at a high level. He has watched the tapes from the games twice and has "no regrets" for the way he handled the situation.
"It's very tough to pull your starting quarterback out when he's throwing the ball with velocity, when he's hitting the receivers, and he's able to move in the pocket and complete a throwing motion," Trestman said. "All three of those indications confirmed with me that I should keep him in here. It's just a feeling thing. It's not percentages.
"He's our starting quarterback, he's our leader. If it's in the best interest of the football team and he can move the team and not hurt himself or the team, we want him to be in there. He wants to be in there. These things come up periodically in the course of seasons and in games with your starting quarterback, and you've got to make those decisions and they're not easy ones. But there are no regrets here."
"I thought he looked good up until a point, and I think the ankle started getting stiffer on him and decreased his mobility and- probably the series before, or the series or two before I went in, those series ended and he was trying to move and couldn't move," McCown said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN. "We were evaluating it, but I'll say this over and over again, Jay Cutler on one leg- his arm talent- Jay on one leg is as good as a lot of guys in the NFL just from what he can do and the throws you saw him make yesterday.
"The thought as we convened on the sideline was how we can evaluate. We got to a point where a) it was hurting him, he wasn't moving as well, and then we knew we were getting into a two-minute situation where mobility is crucial because you're throwing it every down. It's not like there's any deception. So that's when we said if it gets to this situation why don't you take it, and it just made sense to everybody. It's a tough thing what he went through yesterday, because he's a competitor and you don't ever want to take yourself off the field."
Cutler completed 12 of 18 plays for 148 yards in the first half, but hit just 3 of 12 plays for 59 yards in the second half, with the majority of that yardage on a 44-yard pass to Marshall. Cutler started the second half with incompletions on his first three passes.
References: Times Colonist and ESPN
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