Cutler to have surgery Wednesday

BY foxsports • November 22, 2011

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will have surgery Wednesday to repair the fractured thumb on his right throwing hand and the team is hoping he will be able to return before the end of the regular season.

''We're anticipating a good result, but we'll know more hopefully in the next 48 hours,'' Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said Tuesday on ''It's a shame because he was really coming into his own. He was really understanding the protections, keeping his eye level down the field. The things he was doing were pretty special.''

Angelo said team doctors believe Cutler has a chance of getting back on the field before Chicago ends its regular season at Minnesota on New Year's Day. The Bears are tied with Detroit for second in the NFC North at 7-3.

Cutler was injured trying to help tackle Antoine Cason on an interception return in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 31-20 victory over the San Diego Chargers, a big blow for a team with five straight wins. The Bears are expected to start Caleb Hanie at Oakland this week, but they are looking for a veteran backup.

One option could be Kyle Orton, the quarterback they traded to Denver for Cutler in April 2009. He was released by the Broncos on Tuesday.

Although Orton's a vested veteran with seven NFL seasons under his belt, he is subject to the waiver rules because he was released after the trade deadline. Any team that claims him will be responsible for about $3 million in salary, which is what remains of his roughly $9 million contract for 2011. If nobody claims him, he'll be free to sign with anybody.

The Bears are an intriguing possibility, given his history with them. They went 10-5 with Orton starting as a rookie in 2005, with Rex Grossman sidelined most of the year because of a preseason injury.

Orton barely played the next two years but started 15 games in 2008, throwing for 2,972 yards with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

share story