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Jay Cutler to Miss Week 11 Start; Josh McCown Back In


The Chicago Bears were thrilled to get starting quarterback Jay Cutler back last Sunday after Cutler had missed two weeks with a groin injury, but they’ll have to continue on without him again this week, as he suffered a new injury – a high ankle sprain – in Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions.

According to ESPN.com, the injury will prevent Cutler from starting this Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. Josh McCown will once again take his place and Cutler’s ankle will be evaluated week-to-week for the remainder of the season.

“I think you all know he’s got a high ankle sprain,” Bears head coach Marc Trestman told reporters on Monday. “He got it rolled on. It was unrelated to the groin injury. It happened in the second quarter. They taped him up. There was no indication from the trainers there would be any further injury.”

While McCown has played fairly well in filling in for Cutler this season, the Bears – who are currently 5-4 and tied for second place in the NFC North – would be devastated to lose Cutler for multiple games. It’s possible Cutler could return for week 12, but considering high ankle sprains are often nagging injuries, Cutler could easily miss several weeks of action.

Following last week’s game, there was some debate as to whether Trestman should have replaced Cutler earlier. Cutler injured the ankle in the second quarter, but remained in the game until the Bears’ final offensive series, when McCown came in and led the team on a touchdown drive, cutting the Lions’ lead to two points.

“If you look at it closely, there was an indication that we should take Jay out,” Trestman said. “It was on the last throw (of the fourth quarter as Cutler was pressured by Nick Fairley). He climbed the pocket. It was an awkward throw, and he threw the ball into the ground to Alshon [Jeffrey].”

Ultimately, Trestman said he was hesitant to pull Cutler out, since the quarterback was playing well, and has no regrets about the decision, despite Cutler’s injury.

“It’s very tough to pull your starting quarterback out when he’s throwing the ball with velocity, when he’s hitting his receivers, and he’s able to move in the pocket and complete a throwing motion,” Trestman said. “All three of those indications confirmed with me that I should keep him in here. It’s just a feel thing. It’s not percentages.”

Fortunately for Chicago, it has fared well with McCown under center and should be able to at least remain competitive without Cutler. McCown is 1-0 in starts this season and has posted a strong QB rating of 103.2 in his relief of Cutler this year, while throwing four touchdowns and no interceptions.

“You saw Josh play a week ago (in an upset win over Green Bay). He played very effectively,” Trestman said. “He took care of the football. He was very efficient. We hope to get the same out of him Sunday. Josh has been here working for the last eight months learning the offense, and when he’s had the opportunity to play, he’s played very well.”

With McCown and a strong running game, the Bears should be just fine at home against the offensively-challenged Ravens, who have scored 30 or more points just once all season. Look for Chicago to cover -4 points in the win, even without its starting QB.

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