Jay Cutler's injury — a broken thumb on his throwing hand — may keep him out of a Bears uniform for the next two months, but the Bears aren't giving up hope that he will be playing again in the 2011 NFL season.
ESPN Chicago's Michael C. Wright reports that Cutler's next step is surgery, with his regular season possibly over because of it. The Bears don't plan to put Cutler on the injured reserve list, however, according to the Chicago Tribune's Vaughn McClure.
Cutler has led the Bears to a 7-3 record, and that mark would be good for an NFC wild card spot if the playoffs started today. But Cutler's replacement, Caleb Hanie, has thrown 14 regular season passes in his NFL career, and only threw slightly more as Cutler's injury replacement in last year's NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers. It's possible that Cutler will be back from his injury before the end of the playoffs, but that the Bears will no longer be playing.
For more on Cutler and the Bears, visit Windy City Gridiron.