The human body was designed to do many things, some of which aren’t appropriate for a sometimes R rated but mostly PG blog (my mom thinks I’m cool). But one thing we’ve learned through testing: it’s not structured to sustain this kind of punishment repeatedly…
That’s our friend Jay Cutler. Notice the bend of his neck directly backwards. Necks do indeed bend backwards, just not all the way back like that, and not at the force of a large human, while another large human has a firm death grip on your legs. This hurts.
What you’re watching in repeated moving picture form is the moment that Cutler’s neck said “you know what? I’m out” during the Bears’ Week 14 loss to Minnesota. It’s an example of why often sack numbers don’t reflect the consistent pounding allowed by an offensive line. And to be sure, Bears quarterbacks have been sacked plenty this year (37 times, ranking their O-line a lowly 25th), but Cutler has gone down only three times over his last four games. He’s hit repeatedly, though, and the vulnerability of the line in front to him has led to games in which he’s been sacked seven, five, and six times.
Last night at about the time when we were all watching the Eagles’ glorious combustion that was just so Eagles, a piece of troubling Cutler news may have escaped you. In addition to the neck injury he sustained on this play, he also has a sprained MCL.
From the Chicago Tribune:
A team source said it’s not remotely as serious as the MCL injury that knocked him out of the second half of the NFC championship game loss to the Packers two years ago at Soldier Field. Cutler is expected to have full participation in Friday’s practice.
The Bears list Cutler on the injury report with neck and knee injuries, and said he was knocked out of the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s loss at Minnesota with a stiff neck after a high-low hit from Vikings defensive linemen Everson Griffen and Jared Allen.
Cutler was listed as limited in Thursday’s practice and the injury report Wednesday indicated he would not have practiced if the team had. Instead, coach Lovie Smith opted for a walk-through.
See, nothing to worry about. Just a little MCL sprain for a quarterback who’s facing a Packers front seven that will most likely be getting Clay Matthews back this week after he resumed practicing. There are only eight of you who intend to start Cutler this week, and you’re all in two-QB leagues. So this injury isn’t concerning from that perspective (sorry, Jay). Instead, Brandon Marshall owners should be at least mildly worried. Like the sort of worried that washes over you when you see that it’s raining, and you’re unsure if your car window is open or closed. A petty but important worry, which coincidentally also describes Cutler’s entire career. The reason to worry is tied to Cutler’s mobility, or possibly a lack thereof, which could in turn lead to fewer deep passing attempts.
Marshall has been absolutely on fire recently, catching 32 passes over his last three games for 417 yards (!!!). But do you remember the Marshall we saw when Jason Campbell was under center for one week while Cutler sat out with his concussion? Of course you don’t, because that’s a week of your life you’ve now buried mentally forever. That’s when Marshall had only 29 yards on two catches, thankfully saving his day with a touchdown. There were some heavy tears shed by Marshall owners after he finished 74 yards lower than his season average.
Admittedly I’m running to the cliff here, peering over, and calculating the maximum inertia when I hit the rocky bottom. But be honest: you’re doing that too, as you’re fearing a Bears offense this weekend that’s led by a hobbled Cutler, or worse, a re-injury and another Campbell appearance next week.
Hold me, and let’s jump together.
And now the links part of the links post…
- You need to start Darren McFadden this week. [The Fake Football]
- Planning for championship week has already started. Need to stream a defense? [KFFL]
- If Ahmad Bradshaw is out, David Wilson is a top-15 play. [Matthew Berry]
- Reggie Bush is preparing for life after Miami. [Miami Herald]
- Rob Parker is the dumbest person on this Earth. [PFT]