Offensive coordinator Mike Tice didnt mean it the way it came out but he was perhaps speaking for much of BearNation on Wednesday in the matter of whether quarterback Jay Cutler would be back from his concussion and able to play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
God, I hope so, I do, I really do, Tice said, then quickly added, nothing against Jason Campbell. Jason did a remarkable job based on the opportunities he was afforded. But it would be great to get our guy back.
Whether the Bears do formally get their Cutler guy back will have to wait pending the outcomes of tests and his condition after the Bears first practice of the week on Thursday. Coach Lovie Smith told Campbell last Tuesday that he was starting against the San Francisco 49ers whether Cutler passed any of the tests or protocols associated with concussions.
Cutler said on Wednesday that he was not having any concussion symptoms. But as far as a definitive on whether he would play?
I dont know, he said. Well see.
Cutler and rookie defensive end Shea McClellin, also out of the 49ers game with lingering concussion issues, have been cleared to practice only on a limited basis, coach Lovie Smith said. They need to be cleared by an independent neurologist before they are available to play in a game.
Despite missing last Sundays game and one in 2010 from a concussion, Cutler was firmly against establishing a mandatory one-game moratorium on playing after a concussion.
No. No. Not at all, Cutler said. Every persons different, every hits different. I dont think you can give a blanket protocol of a week off. I think its not fair to the players.
Getting engaged and having a child has altered some of his perspectives but not all.
I think everyones perspectives change because theres just more awareness, more out there, more information, Cutler said. Its not going to change the way I play football, my desire to return to the field by any means.