Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman said Monday that Jay Cutler will sit out the next game but remains the No. 1 quarterback despite backup Josh McCown's strong play.
Trestman also said star linebacker Lance Briggs is "a couple of weeks away" from returning from a small fracture in his left shoulder that has sidelined him the past three games. The Bears expected him to miss six weeks, and Trestman said he remains on schedule.
Chicago visits St. Louis this weekend.
Cutler's status has been a topic of conversation because of his expiring contract, groin and ankle injuries, and McCown's performance. But Trestman insisted he's in no danger of losing his job.
"Jay is the quarterback of our football team and Josh is the backup quarterback, and the three of us all know that," Trestman said, echoing McCown's comments after Sunday's overtime win over Baltimore. "And that hasn't changed. It's not going to change."
Cutler tore his left groin muscle against Washington on Oct. 20 and sat out the next game at Green Bay two weeks later. He returned earlier than expected against Detroit on Nov. 10, only to suffer a high left ankle sprain in the first half. McCown came in for the Bears' final drive in that game and threw a touchdown, only to have a two-point conversion fail in a two-point loss.
He got the call again for Sunday's overtime win over Baltimore and played well in a game that included a long rain delay. He's 2-0 as a starter and has a 100 rating with five touchdowns and no turnovers in four appearances, but like Trestman, he has insisted that he's not taking Cutler's job.
Besides Cutler and Briggs, Trestman said defensive tackle Stephen Paea is week to week after leaving Sunday's game with a toe injury that's been an issue for him for much of the season. So is defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff, who signed over two weeks ago and is coming off a season-ending groin injury last year with Dallas. Trestman also said defensive end Shea McClellin (hamstring) "should get out this week and start working on Wednesday" after missing the past two games.
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