Hub Arkush: Cutler’s quick return elicits 1 reaction: Why?
Something is amiss on the midway, and while the monsters seem quite pleased, I for one am perplexed, perhaps even a tad troubled.
Jay Cutler will apparently start at quarterback against the Detroit Lions. Under almost any circumstances, one would have to think that’s a good thing, wouldn’t one?
“Jay has, since the day he got hurt, spent 24-7 here,” coach Marc Trestman said. “He was here the entire bye week. He’s done everything he can on and off the field to get ready.
“The last couple of days he’s gone through an excessive protocol to make sure that he was, by doctor’s evaluation, cleared to play the game on Sunday. This morning, they cleared him to play. He practiced the entire practice (Thursday), he took every rep, and had a good practice. I expect him to start Sunday.”
So here’s where my dilemma begins. Trestman said this just a few hours short of 18 days after Cutler allegedly tore a tendon in his groin.
In what parallel universe are there just under 18 days in “a minimum of four weeks, and then a week-to-week evaluation after that?”
That was the diagnosis and prognosis of the Bears’ medical people. Both general manager Phil Emery and Trestman emphasized that would be their guide in bringing Cutler back, and Emery reiterated as recently as last week leading up to the Packers game it remained unchanged.
“No. 1, the doctors had told us that the injury was what it was, it was a legitimate four-week injury,” Trestman said. “And Jay took it upon himself, like I said literally, 24-7, doing everything he could to rehab.”
I have known most of the Bears’ doctors for close to two decades. They’re not perfect, but they’re really good. And Cutler’s case really doesn’t seem all that complicated or unusual. Did the Bears’ doctors miss the boat on this one, or is Cutler just a miraculous healer?
“We stayed on it,” Cutler said. “Did a lot of soft tissue work with our chiropractor Josh Aiken, Bobby (Slater) and Chris (Hanks) in there did a good job. Used a machine called the ARP over at Synergy Sports just up the road. Threw a lot of stuff at it. I wanted to get back as soon as possible.”
Were the Bears’ medical people not aware this miracle cure was out there, or is it possible Cutler’s not completely ready and is just rushing back?
“Yeah, if I wasn’t back to 100 percent or they (coaches) had any doubts in it, I wouldn’t have been practicing today,” Cutler said. “That was the stipulation. They were going to let Josh have another crack at it, and I was going to have to sit this one out.”
Cutler says he’s 100 percent, his coaches have watched him work and apparently haven’t seen anything yet to cause them to doubt him, but here’s something that puzzles me.
“He practiced the entire practice today, he took every rep and had a good practice,” Trestman said.
If the docs said it was a minimum four weeks and then week-to-week evaluation, and you let him come back at least a week and a half early, would you really let him take every rep his first time back on the field?
And if that is in fact what happened, why would Josh McCown, who couldn’t possibly be any more supportive of Cutler’s return, give this response when asked if he got any reps in practice.
“I’m not going to get into that,” McCown said.
I am not a conspiracy theorist, I’m not suggesting anything untoward, and I sincerely hope Cutler is 100 percent and ready to go.
Common sense suggests he can’t be, and if he’s not, the Bears can only hope his early return doesn’t do more damage than it does good.
• Hub Arkush covers the Bears for Shaw Media and HubArkush.com. Write to him a firstname.lastname@example.org.