Jay Cutler expects to play for the Chicago Bears in Week 15 against the Green Bay Packers.
Cutler told Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com (via Twitter):
Jay Cutler said he "should be ready to go later in the week." #JayCutlerShow— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) December 10, 2012
Cutler left the Vikings' Week 14 loss against the Minnesota Vikings after taking a shot to the neck from defensive end Everson Griffen.
The Bears were trailing 21-7 at that point and then had to send in Jason Campbell to try to stage a comeback.
As has been the case this season, Campbell and the Bears (with him behind center) just couldn't get things going. With time running out, Campbell tossed a late touchdown to Brandon Marshall.
The game was already over at that point.
Jason Campbell is not the type of quarterback who can step in and lead these Bears through adversity and get them to the postseason. They need Cutler at full strength if they have a prayer of avoiding a disastrous collapse.
If the Bears fail to make the playoffs, they will be the first team to start 7-1 and miss them since the 1996 Washington Redskins.
But that can be avoided if Cutler comes out and plays big against the Packers at Soldier Field this week.
The biggest concern for the team has to be sending Cutler out there if he's still injured. Having a less-than-perfect Cutler against Green Bay’s defense is a recipe for disaster.
We’ve seen what he can do when he IS 100 percent. Cutler has posted just a 60.5 passer rating in seven career games against the Pack. That's due to a 55.1 percent completion rate and an 8-15 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions.
The bottom line is that if Green Bay wins, it seals the NFC North division title. In that event, the Bears still have a chance at snatching one of the two Wild Card berths.
Cutler will likely go on Sunday in Chicago, but there is some risk involved.
The Bears' season may suffer as a result if the Packers, who sacked him seven times in their last meeting, can put the same types of hits on him again this week.
A worst-case scenario would be the Bears losing and having Cutler injured in the process.
Without this win or without having Cutler down the stretch, the Bears’ faithful might want to start worrying.