Every Thursday the Bears typically make the next-game’s starting quarterback available via press conference. Thursday it was Jay Cutler, in full uniform, including football cleats instead of CrossFits or other non-NFL footwear and giving no clues as to the state of the hamstring he injured chasing an Arizona Cardinal two weeks ago.
Whether that points to Cutler starting Sunday against the Oakland Raiders remains pure speculation, with the quarterback practicing on a limited basis and Jimmy Clausen working with backup receivers after practice, hinting that Cutler may have gotten a significant amount of starter reps during practice.
“I think we’re doing well,” Cutler said. “We’ll see how it goes. We’ve still got a couple of days. We’re not where we want to be yet.”
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Had the game with Oakland been Thursday, would Cutler have been able to play? “Maybe,” he said, smiling.
The injury occurred when Cutler attempted to make a tackle after Cardinals defensive back Tony Jefferson intercepted him and was on his way to the Bears end zone.
Given that Cutler’s 2011 season was cut short by a thumb injury in the identical situation, next time there’s an interception, “I’m just going to lay down,” he joked.
The status of his return, however, is no joke, if only because attempting to come back from a hamstring pull before properly healing can make the injury exponentially worse.
One report had Cutler missing at least two weeks, an estimate coach John Fox ridiculed.
“Everybody’s different,” Fox said. “That’s why I don’t like putting timetables on things.”