The quarterback's availability is in question for next Monday night's matchup with the San Francisco 49ers is concerning in terms of how it will affect the Bears offense, particularly wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Beyond the scope of the game played on the field is how this situation will influence Marshall's fantasy owners, as the stretch run hits full stride next week.
Is Brandon Marshall still a No. 1 fantasy option at WR if Cutler misses an extended period of time?
At first glance, one would think that Cutler's potential absence would have a negative effect on Marshall's value, and rightfully so. The Bears will more than likely lean on a rushing attack that features one of the best every-down running backs in the league in Matt Forte and one of the league's most reliable backups in Michael Bush.
However, Marshall has been Chicago's only consistent receiving threat in 2012, and that will not change with Jason Campbell under center, or if the Bears decide to play it conservatively when Cutler returns.
Opposing defenses will have to respect Chicago's ninth-ranked ground game, especially if the focus shifts that way on offense. This could actually have a very positive impact on Marshall, opening up more space for the big target to work.
Marshall has tallied 67 receptions on 103 targets for 904 yards and seven touchdowns so far this season, all top five totals in the league. Expect similar numbers out of the wideout throughout the rest of the season regardless what the quarterback situation looks like in Chicago.