Bears QB Jay Cutler to miss another game, Josh McCown will start

Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman said Monday that Jay Cutler
will sit out the next game but remains the No. 1 quarterback
despite backup Josh McCown’s strong play.

Trestman also said star linebacker Lance Briggs is ”a couple of
weeks away” from returning from a small fracture in his left
shoulder that has sidelined him the past three games. The Bears
expected him to miss six weeks, and Trestman said he remains on
schedule.

Chicago visits St. Louis this weekend.

Cutler’s status has been a topic of conversation because of his
expiring contract, groin and ankle injuries, and McCown’s
performance. But Trestman insisted he’s in no danger of losing his
job.

”Jay is the quarterback of our football team and Josh is the
backup quarterback, and the three of us all know that,” Trestman
said, echoing McCown’s comments after Sunday’s overtime win over
Baltimore. ”And that hasn’t changed. It’s not going to
change.”

Cutler tore his left groin muscle against Washington on Oct. 20
and sat out the next game at Green Bay two weeks later. He returned
earlier than expected against Detroit on Nov. 10, only to suffer a
high left ankle sprain in the first half. McCown came in for the
Bears’ final drive in that game and threw a touchdown, only to have
a two-point conversion fail in a two-point loss.

He got the call again for Sunday’s overtime win over Baltimore
and played well in a game that included a long rain delay. He’s 2-0
as a starter and has a 100 rating with five touchdowns and no
turnovers in four appearances, but like Trestman, he has insisted
that he’s not taking Cutler’s job.

Besides Cutler and Briggs, Trestman said defensive tackle
Stephen Paea is week to week after leaving Sunday’s game with a toe
injury that’s been an issue for him for much of the season. So is
defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff, who signed over two weeks ago
and is coming off a season-ending groin injury last year with
Dallas. Trestman also said defensive end Shea McClellin (hamstring)
”should get out this week and start working on Wednesday” after
missing the past two games.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org