Don’t Know What You Got (Til It’s Gone)

From  “bust” to “gamechanger”, “jerkface” to “savior”, “wuss” to “superhero”.  The winds of change blow swiftly ’round here. The title on your business card can change daily.  Ask Jay Cutler.  He’ll tell you:  Such is the life in the NFL, and certainly in America, and a sports-crazy town like Chicago.  It’s a total rollercoaster ride.  One minute you’re up, the next?  Down and out.

Jay may not play again until 2012 (the story is below) thanks to breaking his thumb whilst helping Matt Forte track down a Charger DB who was threatening to tighten up Sunday’s game with a pick-6.  The guy has taken a million big shots.  Mike Martz thinks nothing of calling QB draws on the goal line that get the man’s bell rung time and again.

Yet, ironically, Jay’s undoing comes after one of his multitude of interceptions.

The oft maligned QB  has had some decent, even good games the last few weeks, and thus, his stock has risen to that of  “elite”, “Franchise” status.

He is neither.  He’s still pretty much what he always has been:  Pretty average.  Right.  Smack.  Dab.  In the middle.  Better than half the league, but not good enough to crack the top 10.

The debate will rage on and even intensify if backup Caleb Hanie (who sounds like a character in Gorilla Tango’s burlesque remake of  “Little (Whore)house on the Prairie”) fails in his newly appointed mission as “game manager.”

The ironies roll on:  Jay was brought to town specifically because the rap on Kyle Orten was that he was, and always would be, a “game manager.” Jay was the “anti-game manager.”  And yet, when the Bears need him most, like in the stretch run into what’s certain (even still) to be a playoff birth, or, oh, in the NFC Championship Game last January, The Bears have a “game manager” under center and not their “franchise” guy.

Such is the roller coaster of the NFL.  Read More:

Chicago Bears
quarterback Jay Cutler broke the thumb on his throwing hand during Sunday’s 31-20 win over the San Diego Chargers, according to sources familiar with the situation, and the injury likely will keep him out for the final six games of the regular season.

Cutler plans to undergo further evaluation of the injury on Monday, but the injury will require surgery that will keep him out “at least the rest of the regular season,” the sources said.

A team spokesman wouldn’t confirm Cutler’s injury.

With six games left on the schedule, the team is hopeful Cutler can return for the postseason, should the Bears advance.

Cutler completed 18 of 31 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns Sunday, and avoided a sack for just the second time in his past 30 games. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Cutler completed six of eight attempts under duress, including a third-quarter touchdown to Johnny Knox.

Under pressure, the quarterback produced a passer rating of 154.7 against the Chargers, which is interesting considering Cutler had attempted 81 passes under duress — the most in the NFL — for a passer rating of just 67.0 in the nine games headed into Sunday.

Cutler might have suffered the injury on a fourth-quarter interception to Antoine Cason on a pass intended for Knox, who slipped, essentially causing the turnover. In the attempt to make the tackle on Cason’s 64-yard return, Cutler suffered the injury.

So the news of the quarterback’s broken right thumb puts a damper on a red-hot outing that Bears coach Lovie Smith called “outstanding.”

Cutler finished the game, completing his final two passes for 24 yards in the team’s final drive.

With Cutler expected to miss time, the attention turns to backup Caleb Hanie, who will take over as the starter. A fourth-year veteran, Hanie played in two games in 2010, completing 8 of 14 passes for 66 yards and an interception.



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