Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was cleared to return from a thumb injury this week, and right in the nick of time, too. Now that Brian Hoyer is out with a broken arm, the Bears managed to avoid what otherwise would have been an awkward quarterback controversy.
Just because there isn’t a controversy doesn’t mean things aren’t awkward though. Speaking to the media for the first time since his return, Cutler didn’t seem to think much of John Fox’s confidence in his ability to lead Chicago’s offense. Per Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, any support from the head coach exists at least in part out of necessity.
“He doesn’t have a choice, I guess, at this point,” Cutler said. “Brian is out, so I’ve got to go. I’ve had good conversations with Foxy this week, last week, the week before. There’s never been any strain in our relationship. We’re both very open and honest, and we’re on the same page. We just want to win football games.”
Cutler is right about one thing. After watching fourth-year signal caller Matt Barkley in relief of Hoyer last week, it’s clear there is only one option at quarterback. Fox doesn’t have to be thrilled about it. All the Bears can do is try to find a way to make it work.
Make no mistake though, Cutler is aware Fox was evaluating the quarterback situation, and the way Hoyer was performing, it would’ve been difficult to send him back to the bench. Can’t blame an 11th-year veteran for seeing the writing on the wall, or try to make light of things for that matter, given the Bears are 1-6.