Bears, Cutler sticking to recovery timeline

Despite Brandon Marshall's comments that Jay Cutler could return for next week's contest against the Detroit Lions, Bears brass still believe the timeline for his return is a minimum of four weeks.

Last week, Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman said Jay Cutler's groin injury will keep him out a "minimum of four weeks, then it's week to week after that."

Brandon Marshall believes Cutler will return much sooner.

"Look into my eyes right now," Marshall told ESPN 1000's "Waddle and Silvy Show" on Monday. "Jay will be back before four weeks. I'm not ruling out this game (Monday night versus the Green Bay Packers), but definitely, worst case scenario, he'll be back for the Lions."

Marshall's diagnosis is based on his own recovery from a similar injury, which only kept him out 10 days.

"I had a similar injury, different muscle, but we're talking about a tear," Marshall said. "Once he know that's he's good to go, there is still going to be some discomfort there. I was supposed to be out four-to-six weeks and I came back in ten days. I still felt it, but it probably took two or three days for me to say just go out there and everything is okay. Once I got out there and caught a pass, I was able to be effective."

Marc Trestman, though, isn't counting on Cutler's services for at least the next three weeks.

"I don't decide when Jay comes back or when any player comes back. The doctors make that decision," Trestman said. "What I was doing was reiterating the prognosis of the doctors. They're not always right. It could happen faster. Jay's optimistic; we all are. But I'm not saying we're not bringing Jay back for four weeks. That's what the doctors have said and we'll work off that timeline. If it happens quicker, that'd be great.

"Brandon is a teammate and he's optimistic that his teammate will be back. He's not the doctor. When I talk about a player's prognosis to play, it's not mine. It's what the doctors have said is the normal. That doesn't mean that Jay can't beat the odds and come back quicker and again, he's optimistic, you've talked to him, he's optimistic, and we all are, I don't make that determination, the doctors do.

"Phil [Emery] and I were both told the same thing — at four weeks, we'll evaluate it. But that doesn't mean we're not evaluating it week to week. We're just going based on the history of the injury and we'll see what happens.

Trestman said Cutler threw a few passes today on the side during practice but wasn't testing the groin.

"He played a little catch just for the receivers more than anything, but he didn't move around. He was just stationary."

Cutler said today the injury was "the most significant pain-wise that I've had", so if it's a matter of pain tolerance, then he has an uphill climb ahead of him. He said the trainers will tell him when he can return but he's hoping it'll be sooner than a month.

"That's the goal," said Cutler. ""[Marshall] is optimistic and so am I. So we'll see how it goes. It's tough watching. It's always the hardest part, not being able to do your job with the rest of the guys. So I've just got to help Josh [McCown] as best I can. And when I get back I get back."

Both Cutler and Trestman expressed confidence in McCown's ability to lead the offense.

"Josh is going to do the job," Cutler said. "We've got a good game plan coming in. The coaches have done a great job all year of protecting guys at the QB position. Josh fared well against [Washington]. He played well. He'll play well again this week as well.

"We've got a lot of talented guys. Offensive line is playing really well. That's what made my job easier. It's going to make his job easier as well."

Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his third season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.

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