Perhaps Derrick Rose could learn a thing or two from Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
The Bears’ signal caller plans to return to action this Sunday for Chicago’s home game against the Detroit Lions, just three weeks after suffering a torn groin muscle against the Washington Redskins.
In all seriousness, the cases are apples and oranges. Rose’s injury was obviously a lot more serious than Cutler’s, and his team didn’t have a realistic chance at capturing the NBA championship in 2013 regardless of his return.
Cutler, meanwhile, had everything at stake to return.
A wide open NFC North? Check. A new contract? Check. A bevy of weapons that were able to make Josh McCown look like a solid NFL quarterback, and a play caller who has been nothing short of brilliant this season?
Sorry, Skip Bayless, but Josh McCown has no business starting Sunday’s game against the Lions (banking on Cutler’s health, of course) provided he’s ready to go. As admirable as McCown’s performance was against Green Bay, this is Cutler’s team. For better or worse.
However, McCown’s performance on Monday night sure made one thing clear. Trestman’s system doesn’t need Cutler in order to succeed. While McCown obviously isn’t the long term answer, who knows? Perhaps Cutler asks for big money in the offseason, and the Bears obviously have a lot of holes to fill *cough Major Wright* *cough Chris Conte*.
The point is, maybe Trestman wants to hand pick his signal caller for the future, just the way general manager Phil Emery hand selected him to be the Bears’ head coach. One may think it would be foolish to spend a first round pick on a quarterback when the roster has so many other obvious holes, but crazier things have happened. Like the hiring of Marc Trestman, for instance.
So in that sense, Cutler had every reason to return as quickly as physically possible. He needs to prove he’s not expendable. While his talent is unquestioned, you wonder if he’s really the rhythmic type passer Trestman looks for to run his offense.
At least, in the meantime, his health doesn’t appear to be a concern.
“We just went out there and did some drills, threw the ball and stepped up into the pocket,” Cutler said in an ESPN Chicago story. “Made sure I was comfortable moving around. If I wasn’t back to 100 percent or if they had any doubts, I wouldn’t have been practicing today. That was the stipulation. They were going to let Josh [McCown] have another crack at it, and I was going to sit this out [if I didn’t show them I was ready].”
Through all else, you have to admire Cutler’s toughness and resiliency. The same guy who hasn’t won a game at Lambeau Field in his Bears’ tenure just watched his backup get the job done while he was on the sidelines.
Luckily for him, the Bears have their most important game of the season on Sunday, with the winner taking control of the NFC North for the time being.
Five years later, and it’s sad that we’re still saying it.
But it’s time to prove you belong, Jay.
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