When I saw Jay Cutler on Tuesday morning, less than 48 hours after he was unable to walk to the locker room at FedEx Field without aid, if I didn’t know he’d just suffered an excruciatingly painful torn groin muscle, I would have thought nothing was amiss with his health.
The quarterback who basically couldn’t walk not long before that was walking near normally, no crutches, no cane, no help from medical personnel. It made Brandon Marshall’s prediction on Thursday that Cutler would return sooner than the projected four-week minimum seem anything but outlandish.
"I predict Jay Cutler will be back in two weeks," Marshall said during an appearance on "Andrea Mitchell Reports" as part of work to advance awareness of mental health issues. "They say four-to-six (weeks), but we got the right people around Jay right now. So we'll get it done. Two weeks."
Two realities overlay the situation.
One is simply physiology. A torn muscle simply requires a certain healing time to reach the requisite point where re-injury is unlikely.
The second is Cutler himself. In the 2010 NFC Championship game, Cutler suffered a torn knee ligament late in the first half. After minor hurry up treatment, Cutler came out and tried to play in the second half, an effort that lasted one series.
But a teammate of Cutler’s told me after that game that Cutler’s leg was “shaking like a leaf” as Cutler stood in the huddle and tried to play.
He couldn’t, and he may not be able to any earlier than the information of Bears GM Phil Emery that “it’s a minimum of four weeks and from there it will be week-to-week.”
But from the way Cutler was walking this week, he may have his ideas on which week.