The Chicago Bears face a must win game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. If the Bears win, the team will remain on par with the Green Bay Packers as the Packers head into their Sunday night match-up against the New York Giants. If the Bears lose, then the team will be behind both the Packers and the Vikings in the NFC North division and their playoff chances would be quickly diminishing. That is why the status of Jay Cutler for Sunday’s game against the Vikings was so important. Cutler participated in his normal functions as the team’s starting quarterback this week as he participated in his weekly radio show; addressed the media from Halas Hall on Wednesday; and participated in practice on Thursday and Friday.
The last remaining hurdle for Cutler was to receive clearance from an independent neurologist. Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith told reporters on Friday that Cutler would be evaluated on Saturday. Cutler was indeed evaluated on Saturday and the quarterback was cleared to play against the Vikings on Sunday. Now, just because Cutler was cleared to play, there has been a minority group of both fans and reporters that have suggested the Bears should hold Cutler out against the Vikings because of how poorly the offensive line has played of late. Smith dispelled that notion on Friday, and Cutler will be the team’s starting quarterback on Sunday.
Of course, whenever Cutler’s name is mentioned that brings up a debate about whether or not he is the leader that the Bears need out of their starting quarterback position. Sure, Cutler may not be liked by some of his teammates, but it’s not Cutler’s job to be liked. It is Cutler’s job to put the Bears’ in a position to win as many games as possible. While Cutler may not be best at doing that, there is a considerable drop-off from between Cutler and his backup quarterbacks. We learned that last year when Caleb Hanie replaced Cutler, and we learned that on Monday when Jason Campbell was battered by the San Francisco 49ers. While the Bears’ offensive line is the worst in the National Football League no matter who the quarterback is, Cutler at least doesn’t turn the nightmare that the offensive line is into a night terror. The fact of the matter is that until there is a better quarterback on the Bears’ roster, Cutler should undoubtedly be the Bears’ starting quarterback in every game when he is healthy.