After his second concussion as a member of the Chicago Bears and at least his fourth dating back to his career at Vanderbilt, coach Lovie Smith is not worried about quarterback Jay Cutler long term.
Cutler was at Halas Hall Wednesday as the team begins preparation for Monday’s game at San Francisco. The team is not practicing for the first time this week until Thursday and Cutler’s status remained vague after Smith’s update.
“I know a lot of you would like to know about Jay Cutler and how he is doing,” Smith said. “He is getting better. Still evaluating him. He’s meeting with people. Seeing medical staff, our trainers and all of that. But he is getting better. We do have a little bit more time and that is always good.”
If Cutler cannot start Monday, the Bears will use backup quarterback Jason Campbell. They re-signed journeyman Josh McCown on Tuesday to have another experienced passer in the mix. The 49ers could possibly be without their starter Alex Smith as well. He was knocked out of Sunday’s game with a concussion forcing San Francisco to use Colin Kaepernick.
Cutler last suffered a concussion in Week 4 of the 2010 season. He missed the game the following week. At that time, club sources revealed Cutler’s history included a concussion as a rookie with the Denver Broncos in 2006 and one in college.
Do multiple concussions for Cutler make it more concerning for Smith?
“I can’t really get into all of that,” he said. “When a guy has a concussion, period, whether it’s first or whatever it is concerned for you. We will do everything possible to get him back up to par and all of that. It will all take care of itself. Whether it’s two or whatever, he’s not going to go back, he’s not going start practicing until he is completely healed and ready to go. He won’t play of course until there are no issues with that. It will all take care of itself.”
Cutler is signed through 2013 and while it’s premature to say how this injury will affect him, it’s fair to wonder if a history of concussions will impact contract talks that most have speculated would take place after this season. Smith was asked if he has concern for Cutler long term.
“No,” Smith replied. “I am just worried about the one that he had the other night. Can’t look into the future or anything like that. Every case is different. Jay’s feeling a whole lot better. I just know that. It will all play out.”