NFL

Bears feel Cutler - but not Briggs - will return this week

{eot}
The Canadian Press
12/11/2013 4:51:06 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Quarterback Jay Cutler looks just about ready to play for the Chicago Bears. For linebacker Lance Briggs, the wait might go on.

Coach Marc Trestman is optimistic Cutler will return from an ankle injury this week against the Cleveland Browns. He was set to work with the receivers after Wednesday's walkthrough, and Trestman said the Bears will know Thursday if he's ready to start.

"We're not going to let it hang through the week," he said. "The starter tomorrow has got to get the work. So we'll make that decision tomorrow."

Cutler has missed the past four games with a high left ankle sprain and also sat out one with a groin injury. Veteran Josh McCown has played well in his place, but the Bears have repeatedly said they will go with Cutler once he's ready.

Briggs, meanwhile, has missed the past six games because of a broken shoulder, and the odds that he'll suit up against the Browns appear slim.

Briggs' return would be a huge lift for an injury-ravaged defence that can't stop the run. He was expected to sit out about six weeks after he was injured against Washington on Oct. 20, but the recovery has stretched longer.

The Bears clearly miss him.

Their defence ranks 27th overall and last against the run, and they've allowed 198 yards rushing or more in five of the past seven games.

"It's not just the intangibles that he brings in terms of leadership and experience and things like that, in confidence," defensive co-ordinator Mel Tucker said. "But he can actually make plays. He can win one-on-one; he can get off blocks. He can run sideline to sideline. He can win one-on-one on running backs on blitzes and things like that. He's an excellent blitzer.

"In the pass game, he's quick, very instinctive. He's quick to diagnose and because of ... his experience, there's not a whole lot of plays he hasn't seen at some point in time."

Whether the Bears have missed Cutler is open to debate, the way McCown is playing.

With a 109.8 rating in seven games, McCown trails only Philadelphia's Nick Foles (120) and Denver's Peyton Manning (114.5), and his performance in Monday's romp over Dallas might have been his best yet.

He became the first player in franchise history with three straight 300-yard passing games, throwing for 348 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. He also ran for one, getting spun like a helicopter as he leaped into the end zone, and the Bears scored on their first eight possessions to jump back into the playoff race.

They're tied with Detroit for the NFC North lead at 7-6, although the Lions swept them for the tiebreaker, and there have been some calls for the Bears to stick with the hot hand at quarterback.

After all, McCown has thrown for more than 1,800 yards and completed nearly 67 per cent of his passes. He has 13 touchdowns and just one interception, but Cutler's numbers aren't shabby, either.

He's thrown for just over 1,900 yards, and his 88.4 rating is the highest since he arrived from Denver before the 2009 season. The message the past few weeks has been consistent.

Trestman and McCown have repeatedly said Cutler will start when he's ready. It could be this week.

Marc Trestman (Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

zoom

(Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


Podcasts

TSN 1050: The Bryan Hayes Show: Septemeber 2nd - Alex Marvez

Alex Marvez of Fox Sports 1 joins the show to discuss Jim Irsay, Michael Sam, and J.J Watt.

TSN 1050: Game Night: September 1 - Matt Florjancic

WKYC Cleveland's Matt Florjancic joins Andy McNamara and John Letherby on Game Night.

TSN 1050: Game Night: Joe Horrigan - July 30

Pro Football Hall of Fame VP of Communications Joe Horrigan joined Game Night with Jim Tatti & Andy McNamara to talk NFL Hall of Fame Weekend


More Podcasts

NFL on TSN and CTV

Sunday, September 21

San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Toronto, CTV Kitchener, CTV Ottawa, CTV Northern Ontario, CKPR)


Houston Texans at New York Giants - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Vancouver, CTV Alberta, CTV Saskatchewan, CITL)


Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Montreal, CTV Atlantic, CTV Saskatchewan)


Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Winnipeg)


Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Two Toronto, CTV Two Ottawa, CTV Two London, CTV Two Vancouver Island, CTV Two Alberta, CTV Two Atlantic)


Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks - 4:25pm et/1:25pm pt (CTV Toronto, CTV Kitchener, CTV Ottawa, CTV Northern Ontario, CTV Montreal, CTV Vancouver, CTV Alberta, CTV Saskatchewan, CTV Winnipeg, CTV Two Atlantic, CKPR, CITL)


Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers
8:15pm et/5:15pm pt (TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5)


Monday, September 22

Chicago Bears at New York Jets
7pm et/4pm pt (TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5)


NFL on TSN Broadcast Schedule

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television