The Chicago Bears announced that quarterback Jay Cutler has a thumb sprain, and he is day-to-day as the Bears prepare to face the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Cutler is expected to miss two to three weeks as he recovers, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The timetable will depend on how Cutler heals over the next few days.
Cutler initially sustained ligament damage in his right thumb in Week 1 against the Texans, according to Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times, and he aggravated the injury during the third quarter of the Bears’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2.
He returned to the field after having medical personnel examine the injury on the sideline, but was removed from the game late in the third quarter and did not return.
The Bears did not list Cutler on the injury report for Week 2, but he was not limited in practice at all during the week, so they are not required to do so.
After the game, Cutler was wearing a cast on his right hand and told reporters he was concerned about the injury, particularly since he has injured this thumb in the past.
"I'm concerned. You know, as a quarterback, you kind of need your right thumb," Cutler said after the game. "I think I was 12 or 11 when I had surgery on this thumb, so we'll see what it is."
Prior to injury, Cutler had completed 12 of 17 passes for 157 yards and one interception. Cutler said after the game that the thumb injury contributed to the interception.
"Just my strength in (the thumb), I couldn't really grip the ball," Cutler said. "So that was obviously a big issue for me."
Cutler said the interception made him aware that he was not physically able to finish the game.
"I knew that I was putting the team, especially the offense, in jeopardy at that point," Cutler said. "So, I had to talk to Rags and get (Brian) Hoyer in there and then I knew my day was done."
Hoyer replaced Cutler, finishing the day with 78 yards and no touchdowns.
The Bears had six players leave the game against the Eagles with injuries, and none were able to return.
"It's tough (to have so many injuries) but that's part of the NFL," Hoyer said after the game. "That's the way the cookie crumbles. Injuries are part of the game, unfortunately. You just have to hope that the next man up is ready to go."
If Cutler is unable to play this week, he Bears will need to either bring in another quarterback to serve as Hoyer’s backup or activate former Eagles quarterback Matt Barkley, who is currently on the team’s practice squad.