John Fox has been surprised by Jay Cutler’s toughness in the relatively short time Fox has been Bears head coach. And Cutler may do that yet again, with Fox announcing that the injury to Cutler’s right (throwing) shoulder is “not season-ending contrary to the reports you hear,” Fox said on Wednesday.
The Bears did not place Cutler on injured reserve. He did not practice on Wednesday, leaving Matt Barkley and David Fales to handle the throwing duties in the first day of on-field work leading up Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans. Fox said only that Cutler had a shoulder injury, noting that “he’s a tough son of a gun so he doesn’t go typical of the [recovery] lengths people put into it as far as weeks [inactive] and what not.
“So, right now he is day to day.”
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With that “diagnosis,” typical for a head coach not wanting to declare a starter out for an upcoming game, Fox did not rule Cutler out for Tennessee.
Nonetheless, Barkley took the starter’s snaps on Wednesday, which already puts him ahead of where he was when he was forced into the Green Bay game after then-starter Brian Hoyer went down with a broken arm.
“It’s still up in the air about what’s going to be happening,” Barkley said. “But I’m preparing like I’m starting. Getting the reps is big in any quarterback’s development, so taking advantage of those, just getting timing down with the receivers, getting in and out of the huddle, just little things like that. But whatever happens Sunday I’ll be ready.”
The Chicago Bears have a favorable matchup Monday night against the Redskins in a game that could be just what the offense needs to get back on track. Washington will be the worst defense Mitch Trubisky has faced (by far) this season and should present opportunities for big plays in both the passing and running games.
But as is the case every week in the NFL, injuries could play a part in the outcome. And the Bears have a few notable names on their injury report.
The most notable is DL Bilal Nichols, who's expected to miss the game with a broken hand. Trey Burton was limited in practice once again with a groin injury, but he should be good to go Monday night. He returned to action in Week 2 and played 26 of 60 snaps on offense.
Kyle Long (hip), Eddie Jackson (shoulder) and Eddie Goldman (oblique) were also limited Thursday, but none appear at risk of missing the game.
The long week should help the Bears climb closer to full health with the exception of Nichols.
It's early—very early—in the 2019 season, but there are a few Chicago Bears players who've quickly established themselves as critical pieces to whatever success this team will enjoy. Obvious names like Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks are irreplaceable parts on defense, but what about HaHa Clinton-Dix? The Adrian Amos replacement has emerged as one of the team's best all-around performers through two games.
A glaring name missing from Chicago's best of the best this week is QB Mitch Trubisky. He'll need a big game against the Redskins on Monday night in order to silence his critics and climb back into the who's who list on this roster. No position is more important to a Super Bowl run than the quarterback, so for Trubisky not to be among the Bears' best right now is somewhat concerning.
And how about that kicker? Eddy Pineiro is on the verge of becoming a household name because of his journey to the Bears' starting job and his clutch 53-yard game-winner against the Broncos in Week 2. He earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors because of it, as well as a spot in this edition of the Power Rankings.
Here are the top-10 Bears heading into Week 3.