On Monday, Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman ruled quarterback Jay Cutler out for Sunday’s game against the St Louis Rams.
“Jay would remain week to week,” Trestman said. “I would rule Jay out for Sunday.”-Marc Trestman, ESPN Chicago
Generally, high ankle sprains keep a player sidelined for four to six weeks. When Cutler first suffered the injury against the Detroit Lions on November 10, the quarterback anticipated returning to the field for the Bears game against the Minnesota Vikings on December 1. But Cutler indicated on his radio show on Monday that the injury may be more severe than the original diagnosis.
“There are a couple of ligaments that we’re a little worried about that’s different than the normal high ankle sprain,” he said. “There are a few other things involved. If I just had a normal high ankle sprain, I wouldn’t be in a cast. [A cast] helps it scar up and stuff, but the normal high ankle sprain isn’t really a concern at this point.”-Jay Cutler, ESPN Chicago
Questions over the severity of the injury were first raised when Cutler was seen wearing an abnormal cast during Bears practices last week.
As for when Cutler could possibly return for the Bears, Trestman will base his decision from what the Bears medical staff suggests.
“As I’ve said many times, we’re not gonna put a player out there if there’s any sense that he’s gonna reinjure himself,” Trestman said. “I don’t ever make those decisions. I make the final decision certainly, but I listen to the doctors and the trainers.
“It’s ultimately my responsibility to play a player. But we’re gonna do what I feel is the best thing to do — that’s to listen to what the medical people say, and then work those players out with coaches, see if they’re at full strength and that they can do all the things necessary to explode in a game. That’s how we’re gonna approach it. We’re gonna be very, very careful.”-Trestman, ESPN Chicago
Considering Cutler cast doubt on the idea that he would be on the field for the Bears game in Minnesota on December 1, the next earliest game that the Bears quarterback could return would be against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football on December 9. Certainly, ESPN is hoping that will be the case.
The mere fact of the matter is that Cutler has nothing to prove by rushing back before his ankle sprain is healed. Fans will make the case that Cutler’s injuries are reason to question his contract status with the team next season but that simply is not true. When healthy this season, Cutler has proven that he is indeed the franchise quarterback for the Bears.
The best thing for all parties involved would be to let Josh McCown continue to start while Cutler recovers and then hopefully Cutler can return in time for the Bears playoff push.