The Chicago Bears lost more than just a game against the Washington Redskins on Sunday, starting quarterback Jay Cutler will be on the bench for at least a month as a result of a groin injury. Linebacker Lance Briggs also will reportedly miss six weeks because of a small fracture in his shoulder.
By losing the 45-41 contest to the Redskins, the Bears dropped to 4-3 and fell all the way to third place in the highly competitive NFC North division. These Bears had high hopes after a 3-0 start, but have gone a less than stellar 1-3 over the past month of play. Going back to September 22, the only team the Bears have defeated is a currently winless New York Giants franchise that has been absolutely pathetic so far in 2013.
This is not a good time for the Chicago Bears to lose Jay Cutler. The franchise quarterback of this team, Cutler has drawn his share of criticism during his career. A talented player, he has never quite managed to develop into the elite caliber player management in Chicago hoped he would when they traded with the Denver Broncos to acquire his talents.
The play that Jay Cutler was injured on looked routine enough, as commentators struggled to point out exactly where he was hurt during the action. Regardless of how it looked, an MRI Monday revealed that Jay Cutler has a torn groin muscle. Not the prognosis Bears fans had hoped for.
Perhaps because of the fact that Josh McCown filled in admirably for Cutler on Sunday against the Washington Redskins, coach Marc Trestman remained positive after hearing the diagnosis. “I’m only confident by what they’ve told me. This is a minimum of four weeks. Then he’ll be evaluated week to week. … Four weeks is a reasonable start. And then it’ll be week to week. I’m encouraged by the prognosis,” he said.
McCown stepped in for Jay Cutler and completed 14 of 20 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown. Numbers that aren’t out of this world, but the efficiency showed the world that he is capable of moving the offense over the next month. A 119.6 quarterback rating is nothing to laugh at, however he will have to prove he can maintain that level of play. Over his career, McCown has a much less impressive 72 passer rating.
For the Chicago Bears, at least they won’t be thrown to the wolves immediately after losing two key players. Jay Cutler and Lance Briggs being gone will hurt this team moving forward, but at least a bye week is next on the schedule. Josh McCown and a now undermanned defense will have an extra week of practice before having to prove that they can win and keep the playoff dreams alive for a Bears team that has been headed in the wrong direction over the past four weeks.
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express