Initially expected to miss a minimum of four weeks, Cutler instead sat out two (including a bye week) before returning to action for the Chicago Bears' Week 10 bout with the Detroit Lions. He recorded 250 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception before returning to the sideline with another ailment.
Cutler left during the fourth quarter with an ankle injury, leading SiriusXM NFL Radio's Twitter feed to report that his return remained uncertain.
With the Bears fighting from behind against their NFC rivals, they were forced to turn to McCown. In Cutler's place, Josh McCown led the Bears on a scoring drive culminating with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall. It was not enough, however, to upend the Lions during a 21-19 loss.
Cutler's status must be monitored carefully during the week, but McCown has proved a capable reserve with 538 passing yards and four touchdowns in mop-up duty. One would think Chicago and Cutler would avoid making the same mistake twice, this time not rushing him back into action.
Marc Trestman has the offense clicking regardless of which quarterback is under center, and Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery provide either quarterback with two terrific wide receivers. When on the field, McCown is a worthwhile matchup play.
If Cutler just misses another game, McCown is not an essential add with the Bears facing the Baltimore Ravens in Week 11. But with the Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles coming up later in the schedule, McCown should be owned as a No. 2 fantasy quarterback if Cutler's ailments persist.