Jay Cutler Injury Update: Chicago Bears QB Doesn’t Want to Jinx it, but Hopes He’ll Be Back for the PlayoffsDecember 1, 2011 – 6:40 am by Eric Schmoldt
Jay Cutler helped get the Chicago Bears in position to make a return trip to the NFL playoffs in 2011. Now he just wants to whatever he can to be ready to play if the Bears do qualify for the postseason. Cutler injured his thumb against San Diego two weekends ago and needed surgery to fix it last week. Afterward, the doctors said there was a chance that he could return in time for the playoffs.
That said, Cutler isn’t making any sort of grand predictions. When asked in the following interview if he believes he’ll be back, he declines to even go there for fear of jinxing the chances. In a bit of good news, however, Cutler is now back together with Kristin Cavallari. Not only that, but they’re once again engaged.
Jay Cutler joined ESPN Chicago with Waddle and Silvy to discuss what it was like when he learned of the severity of his thumb injury, the prognosis the doctors have given him, not jinxing himself by predicting when he might be able to return, thinking about the short term and the long term of his career, how Mike Martz utilized Caleb Hanie in his first start, if he’d miss Martz as a coordinator and coach if he left the team and the process that goes along with becoming engaged again to someone you previously had called off an engagement with.
What was it like for you to find out about what was possibly a season-ending thumb injury?:
“It was devastating. I knew kind of they picked Philip off in the end zone and we had it at the 20, there was a timeout, and I knew walking on the field that something was definitely wrong. … I didn’t know what the extent was after that. After the game, we took the X-Ray and they told me right away … and that surgery was going to be required and I was probably done. Doing that press conference was tough; it was a devastating time.”
Were you encouraged by the what the surgeon said afterward about the possibility to get back for the playoffs?:
“It’s one of the reasons I went to Vail. … Just talking [to the doctor] on the phone and just listening to how confident he was in this surgery and his ability to not only further my career and make sure that I’m going to be fine going forward, but also his ability to try to get me back as fast as possible. … This was kind of a walk in the park for him.”
How confident are you that you would be back for the playoffs?:
“I don’t want to say because I don’t want to jinx it or get people excited. We’re going to take it week by week and see how it goes. I feel good about it, but you never know what’s going to happen.”
Is there a struggle in your mind between wanting to get back but also wanting to look out for your future?:
“No doubt. I want to play in Denver, I want to play this week, I want to play the Seattle game, but at the same time, it’s only my sixth year. Hopefully I have a lot of football left in Chicago, so I want to be smart about this. I know we’re in a playoff race and I know that each game is vital to us being there. … At the end of the day, that’s going to win out. I’m going to play as soon as they let me play.”
Were you surprised that offensive coordinator Mike Martz through the kitchen sink at backup Caleb Hanie?:
“A little bit, but thinking on it now, that’s how Mike operates. He felt probably deep in his heart that Caleb could handle it. … It’s one of those things that, until you go out and experience the play, it’s totally different than the classroom. … Until you’re really out there on the field and go through the play and mess up and see it on film and repeat the process and get that ingrained into your brain, it’s a totally different ballgame out there.”
Would you be upset if Mike Martz left?:
“I don’t want to learn a new system, I know that. I think we have a good thing going here, but Mike’s going to do whatever’s best for Mike. This is a business; this is how things go.”
It seems like you’re more up front with how you feel, particularly if you’re unhappy with one of your receivers. Do you feel like you are in a spot now where you can say such things without guys getting offended?:
“If they are, then we have the wrong guys. The only thing that I’m trying to do and the only we all should be trying to do is win football games. They need to know when they mess up. I know when I mess up and if they want to tell me that I messed up, feel free to do it. I don’t take this personally. We’re all just on the same team trying to win football games.”
You are once again engaged to Kristin Cavallari. Do you need to go through the process or again, or is it just like, ‘OK, let’s do this?’”:
“You guys probably know as well as I do, I don’t really make a lot of those decisions. I’m kind of just along for the ride. … I hear about them in passing or if I have to possibly write a check or something of that sort. Other than that, whatever she wants to do, I’m on board.”
When is this going to happen? And is it going to be in Chicago?:
“You’re asking the wrong person.”
Listen to Jay Cutler on ESPN Chicago here (Interview begins at 2:27:30)