For the last few weeks, Chicago Bears quarterback has been quietly leading workouts with offensive skill-position players in the north suburbs. Whether or not these sessions will produce anything tangible remains to be seen, but one things is for sure, according to his teammates, Cutler's knee looks to be fully healed.
Cutler suffered a Grade II sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during last year's NFC Championship game. The injury caused him to miss the second half of that contest, leading to much scrutiny amongst the media, fans and his fellow players.
Yet at the player-only workouts, Cutler seems to be completely recovered from the injury.
"Jay looks fine, man," running back Kahlil Bell told Vaughn McClure, of the Chicago Tribune. "The last couple of times I went, we did throwing stuff and I couldn't even tell that he had an injury.
"A lot of people made a lot about what happened, but I think he's going to be all right. I know he's going to be all right. He looks fantastic."
Cutler underwent extensive rehab once the season ended, which has helped him get back to 100 percent.
"Jay looks healthy," receiver Rashied Davis said. "Both he and Caleb [Hanie] look great. And everybody's healthy."
Fantuz impresses teammates
According to an NFL source, the Bears' newest wide receiver, former Canadian Football League (CFL) standout Andy Fantuz, is making great strides. He's been a participant at the recent Cutler-led workouts and his teammates, who are getting a chance to see him for the first time, have been praising his abilities.
WR Andy Fantuz
John E. Sokolowski/US Presswire
Fantuz was signed to a reserve/futures contract in February after spending the last five years as a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL. Last season, he led the league with 87 receptions for 1,380 yards and 6 touchdowns. He was named the CFL Most-Outstanding Canadian for his efforts.
The 6-4, 220-pounder has the body type the organization is looking for in a No. 1 receiver. Fantuz doesn't have great speed – he apparently ran a 4.79 40-yard dash – but has outstanding hands and runs good routes, something his fellow Bears have been raving about.
He'll have a good shot at making the roster this year, as the Bears do not plan on bringing back Devin Aromashodu or Rashied Davis. Fantuz is someone to keep an eye on once training camp begins next month.
Wright involved in porn ad
NFL attorneys are investigating an advertisement for a pornography industry event held in Miami last month, according to ABC-7 Chicago. The ad for next month's event – Exxxotica Expo 2011, to be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont – features five NFL players in the uniforms of their respective teams.
The players include Kansas City Chiefs defensive backs Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry, Houston Texans defensive back Kareem Jackson, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Jacoby Ford and Chicago Bears safety Major Wright. The players were listed as hosts of the party.
While there is nothing in the league rules that forbids players from attending the events, using images of them in their NFL uniforms brings up trademark issues. Three recent draft picks – defensive tackle Corey Liuget of the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas and Baltimore Ravens running back Anthony Allen – were also presented in the advertisement.
The Expo is billed as the world's largest gathering of porn stars. Chicago's front office is concerned with Wright's image being associated with the event.
"This is an improper use of team marks and the Chicago Bears are not associated with this ad," said Bears spokesman Jim Christman. "Many times players themselves are unaware of the violation and companies simply pull images and make ads not realizing they are in violation."
Wright could not be reached by ABC-7 Chicago for comment. He is a fixture in Miami's South Beach party scene, and he appears in ads and videos as the host of similar club events.
He did comment on his Twitter page though, saying "FYI..... I have NOTHING to do with the Exotic Expo @ the Rosemont! My pic was used without my permission. No Affiliation at all."
Alex Brown ready to return
With the Bears set to host the New Orleans Saints in Week 2 this season, former Chicago defensive end Alex Brown, now a Saint, is looking forward to playing against his old team. He recently spoke with Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune at his eighth annual Alex Brown Football Camp held in the north suburbs, where Brown's home is located.
"I'm looking forward to that one," Brown said.
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