When the Bears lost quarterback Jay Cutler for at least a month to a groin injury, receiver Brandon Marshall predicted Cutler would miss only two games. More recently, Marshall said Cutler will miss only one game.
Marshall may have been right on the money.
Via ESPNChicago.com, Cutler said Tuesday that he could return sooner than the stated timetable of at least a month.
“Yeah, that’s the goal,” Cutler said, sounding a bit like Tommy Flanagan. “Brandon is optimistic and so am I. We’ll see how it goes.”
Coach Marc Trestman understandably pumped the brakes. (Which is easy for him to do, since his groin isn’t injured.)
“Brandon is a teammate and he’s optimistic that his teammate will be back,” Trestman said. “He’s not the doctor. When I talk about a player’s prognosis to play, it’s not mine. It’s what the doctors have said is the normal. That doesn’t mean that Jay can’t beat the odds and come back quicker and again, he’s optimistic, you’ve talked to him, he’s optimistic, and we all are, I don’t make that determination, the doctors do. . . .
“What I’m saying is that I don’t decide when Jay comes back or when any player comes back. The doctors make that decision. What I was doing was reiterating the prognosis of the doctors. They’re not always right. It could happen faster. Jay’s optimistic; we all are. B ut I’m not saying we’re not bringing Jay back for four weeks. That’s what the doctors have said and we’ll work off that timeline. If it happens quicker, that’d be great.”
Cutler explained that, whenever he returns, he won’t play it safe because of his expiring contract.
“I’m not going to,” Cutler said. “Each game is valuable, especially second half of the season. So the sooner I can get back, the better I’m going to feel helping these guys out.”
That’s the right attitude to have. He’s not going to strike it rich by protecting his groin, or any other part of his body. He needs to get out there and let it loose, propelling the team to the playoffs and himself to the kind of payday the Bears would have no choice but to give him.