After a rough start and some disappointing losses, the Chicago Bears appeared to finally get their groove on for the season in the last few games. As Bears’ fans, we were to starting to see a possible postseason run.
Wouldn’t it be nice to play Green Bay in mid-January?
However, our dreams may be shattered after receiving the news that quarterback Jay Cutler’s fractured thumb will require surgery. Cutler injured it on Sunday, trying to make a tackle and prevent a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
I appreciate the effort but I can’t help but wonder if that was a bad move.
The Bears held a press conference earlier this afternoon and while not known for his dynamic presence, Bears Coach Lovie Smith said that Cutler is out “for an extended time” and NO, this is not a season-ending injury.
In case you’re wondering, the regular season will end on Jan. 1 for the Bears against the Minnesota Vikings.
Or, has the season already come to an end for the Bears? While I’ve been known to drink the blue and orange Kool-aid, I am going to say not necessarily.
I know, the thought of back-up quarterback Caleb Hanie at the helm is scary, given his most extensive playing time took place in this year’s NFC Championship game and it wasn’t necessarily great (see 13 for 20 passes, 153 yards, one touchdown and those two picks).
History could be on Hanie’s side but yes, it’s probably a delusional side. Remember the 2005 season when quarterback Rex Grossman missed most of it with a broken ankle during the preseason and the Bears looked to rookie Kyle Orton to pinch hit for No. 8?
With a simple offense, strong running game and dominant defense, the Bears went 10-5.
While I do think Orton is better than Hanie, the Bears can still bring a strong running game and a dominant defense to the remainder of the season. Sorry, but with Mike Martz running the offense, it’s not a simple one.
Which brings me to the possibility of a veteran quarterback to jump in for a month or so should Hanie either fail or get injured. Who’s left? Dave Gerrard? Mark Bulger? Kurt Warner?
This list doesn’t look good but as we’ve learned Martz likes to bring in his peeps and Bulger is one of them. The retired 34-year-old played under Martz for four years and led the St. Louis Rams to a 12-3 record in 2003.
He knows Martz’s style and offense. And Martz probably likes him. Whether he likes Hanie or not is questionable.
The Bears will play the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Only time will tell if the season is salvageable. Hopefully, we’ll find out later than sooner but one thing is for sure, it’s time for the Bears to dig deep and bring their A-game to the field every week or Soldier Field will be colder earlier than usual this year.