Cutler (shoulder) is expected to be healthy enough to pass a physical in March, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Since undergoing surgery on a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder on Dec. 3, Cutler has been committed to rehabilitation. Along the way, Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com reported in early January that Cutler was ahead of schedule in his recovery effort, and Rapoport's sources lend credence to the situation. More pressing for Cutler is where he'll be suiting up in 2017. The Bears have opened trade talks for the 11-year veteran, but the fact that Cutler has no guaranteed money in his current contract could complicate matters if his landing spot is unsatisfactory. By all accounts, though, he's played his last down as a member of the Bears.
Cutler suffered a sprained thumb in Week 2, forcing five consecutive absences. Only Brian Hoyer's broken left forearm in Week 7 allowed Cutler another chance to operate under center, but he made three more appearances before requiring season-ending surgery to repair the labrum in his right shoulder. If Cutler is indeed getting shopped, his Bears resume will show four touchdowns versus five interceptions, while completing 59 percent of his passes in his age-33 campaign. Because he has no guaranteed money remaining on his contract, the Bears may have difficulty unloading Cutler on a team in a less desirable situation, as he could opt to sit out or retire, per Darlington. No matter how things unfold, Cutler's time in Chicago has almost certainly come to a close.
Cutler's (shoulder) recovery from surgery is ahead of schedule, ESPN's Jeff Dickerson reports.
Cutler sustained a tear in his right shoulder back in November, which saw him miss Chicago's final six games and require surgery to repair his labrum. Although the Bears' season is obviously over, it's still encouraging to hear he's ahead of schedule in his rehab process. Whether he remains with Chicago next season is yet to be seen, but returning to full health is the first step toward determining Cutler's 2017 outlook.
After suffering thumb and shoulder injuries this season before being placed on injured reserve in December, Cutler played in just five games, and he finished the season averaging 212 passing yards, 0.75 touchdowns and one interception.
Although Cutler (shoulder) in under contract with the Bears next season, the team will decide whether or not to keep him in 2017, as the guaranteed money in his contract has been paid out. Wherever he ends up, it'll be hard to view him as anything more than a fantasy backup, as he's failed to throw for more than 21 touchdowns in all but one of his last six years.
After every possible solution but labrum surgery on his right shoulder was ruled out, Cutler's placement on IR was inevitable. With a quarter of the season remaining, Matt Barkley will direct the Bears' offense, while David Fales serves as his backup.
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