posttrib
SCATTERED 
Weather Updates

Sad words for Bears: ‘It’s a groin,’ as in Jay Cutler’s

Updated: October 21, 2013 10:54AM



LANDOVER, Md. — Shall we talk about Jay Cutler’s groin?

I’m guessing that wasn’t among your possible discussion-group topics 24 hours ago. You probably thought you’d be talking about a Bears victory over a ­middling Washington Redskins team and perhaps Cutler’s glorious role in it.

But then came the second ­quarter Sunday, a sack by ­Redskins defensive lineman Chris Baker and the sight of Cutler in pain on the ground. Or, more ­precisely, the sight of Cutler not standing up. He always seems to bounce back after a hard hit.

So, the groin. Who wants to go first?

It initially looked as if Cutler grabbed his left hip, which isn’t that far from the nether region. Maybe we should be safe and call it is groin-ish injury. What we know for sure is that Cutler walked off FedExField, then was carried in pain to a golf cart and whisked away for an examination. Not good. He’ll have a magnetic resonance imaging test Monday to determine the extent of the injury.

I’d suggest a laying on of hands, but, you know.

“We’ll know more in the next couple days,’’ coach Marc Trestman said after the Bears’ 45-41 loss to the Redskins. “It’s a groin. It’s not a knee. It’s not an ankle. It’s not a hip. It’s just a groin injury.’’

But groin injuries can be very tricky. When it comes to healing, they’re stubborn. Ask Joakim Noah, whom the Bulls have shut down for a week because of a strained groin.

Some of you are yearning for the Josh McCown Era to begin. Stop with your yearnings. As much as Cutler has been a contributor to high civic stress levels over the years, he’s the kind of quarterback the Bears need going forward, especially with their own defense going backward at warp speed.

McCown was excellent in relief of Cutler, completing 14 of 20 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown. His passer rating was 119.6. But if you watched the defense struggle to stay with Redskins receivers and stop Redskins runners, you know they’ll need a quarterback who can keep up in an arms race.

That’s not McCown, even though he did it Sunday. He’s not that kind of quarterback. In two starts in 2011, when the Bears last called upon him to take over for the over-his-head Caleb Hanie, he threw two touchdowns and four interceptions for a 68.3 passer rating.

“Have you seen him throw?’’ McCown said of Cutler. “Obviously there’s a difference with the ­velocity at which the ball travels when Jay throws it and when I throw it. We have to play the game in different ways.’’

The Bears’ offense did not fall apart with McCown in the game. That can’t be overstated. We’ve seen it happen in the past when Cutler has been otherwise indisposed. McCown kept up with Robert Griffin III, but it’s fair to ask how far a quarterback with 38 career touchdown passes and 44 interceptions can take a team.

The Bears would prefer we talk about groins rather than their awful defense. They did not lose to the Redskins because Cutler was knocked out of the game. They lost because their defense allowed 38 of the 45 points. They lost because RG3 and the Redskins offense were on the field for almost 34 minutes, which must have felt like a lifetime to a beaten-up, worn-down defense.

Cutler was not having a good game when Baker leveled him. A pass that Alshon Jeffery should have caught led to a pick-six by Brian Orakpo in the second quarter. Then came the sack. The Bears have a bye next week, which will give Cutler more time to heal heading into the game against the Green Bay Packers. So there’s that.

On the play that led to his injury, Cutler became the most-sacked quarterback in team history, moving ahead of Jim Harbaugh, who was sacked 157 times. So there’s that, too.

“He’s a tough competitor, so when you see him down and he stays down, you know it’s ­something serious, because he normally pops back up, shakes it off and gets back in the huddle,” receiver Earl Bennett said.

With the way the defense is playing, the Bears had better start praying that Cutler gets better fast.

They dropped to 4-3 with the loss, which, after a 3-0 start, is a big comedown. But for those of us who envisioned an 8-8 record for this team, it looks like the natural order being restored.

Email: rmorrissey@suntimes.com

Twitter: @MorrisseyCST



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.