10 plays that shaped the season: No. 5

January, 10, 2014
Jan 10
8:00
AM ET
WHEN: Nov. 10, 2013

WHERE: A 21-19 loss to the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field.

THE PLAY: A 12-yard completion from Jay Cutler to Alshon Jeffery with 2:56 left in the first quarter.

Cutler
WHAT THEY SAID: Bears coach Marc Trestman: “I think you all know he's got a high-ankle sprain. He got it rolled on. It was unrelated to the groin injury. It happened in the second quarter. They taped him up. There was no indication from the trainers there would be any further injury. I thought offensively he had one of his best games. I asked [the trainers] if the groin was an issue at all, [and they] didn't feel that there was. They told me even today, if he hadn't rolled up the ankle, he would have been able to play today."

IMPACT OF THE PLAY: It resulted in Cutler missing the next four games due to a high-ankle sprain. Just 21 days removed from tearing a groin muscle in a loss to the Washington Redskins, Cutler returned to face the Lions and didn’t appear to be fully healthy. But that wasn’t the result of any residual discomfort with the groin muscle. As Cutler stepped into the throw to Jeffery in the second quarter, he was hit by Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch, and almost immediately started displaying signs of discomfort during the ensuing plays. But Cutler gutted it out and played through the ankle injury, before Trestman finally made the decision to pull him with 2:17 left to play. Cutler wouldn’t return to the starting lineup for another four weeks, and with the starter out of commission, backup Josh McCown performed well enough to stir up debate as to whether he should be the new No. 1 signal-caller in Chicago. Cutler put that to rest upon his return Dec. 15 against the Cleveland Browns.

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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