Bears’ Cutler continues to absolve Suh of dirty hit
(MCT) — Jay Cutler said he’s still a little sore and will continue to wear rib pads as the Bears prepare to face the Panthers on Sunday at Soldier Field.
Cutler, who absorbed a vicious hit Monday night from the Lions’ Ndamukong Suh, continued to characterize the tackle as legal, even though teammate Brandon Marshall thinks otherwise.
“It’s out of the pocket, (Suh’s) playing football. ... I don’t have a problem with that, I really don’t,” Cutler said Wednesday at Halas Hall. “I don’t think it was dirty. He plays an aggressive style of football. That’s just who he is.”
Marshall indicated Cutler merely was saying what the media wants to hear.
“Jay is in a position with you (media) guys where anything he says may be taken the wrong way,” Marshall said. “So I think it is important for his teammates to maybe speak for him at times. For me, it just wasn’t a good football play.”
Connecting the dots: Offensive coordinator Mike Tice was limited in the types of pass plays he called in the second half against the Lions because Cutler was not 100 percent. The Bears should be able to determine Cutler’s ability to throw the deep pass by the end of this week.
“We were a little cautious (in the second half Monday) obviously, once he got hurt,” Tice said. “We didn’t want to expose him. But he is ready to go. I was very, very pleased with Jay.”
Shut-down corner: Charles Tillman was rewarded Wednesday for his suffocating coverage of Lions Pro Bowl receiver Calvin Johnson. Tillman was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week. Quarterback Matthew Stafford targeted Johnson 11 times but he caught just three passes for 34 yards.
This is the second time in three weeks the 31-year-old Tillman has won this honor. Tillman has gotten extra work practicing against big receivers such as Johnson with Marshall being a member of the Bears.
“Like I told him at breakfast, he wouldn’t have done me like that,” Marshall said with a smile. “They battled but ... then when you see Charles work, it’s like art, man. The way he played the fades in the red zone ... just his body position on certain routes ... breaking up slants ... it was just art.”
Making airwaves: The Bears have re-upped with WBBM-AM 780 as their flagship radio station, along with its other CBS radio affiliates. Jeff Joniak will continue handling play-by-play and Tom Thayer retains his color commentary assignment under terms of the multiyear contract extension. Terms were not disclosed. WBBM’s sister stations, including WSCR-AM 670, also will see expanded Bears coverage.
Injury report: The Bears did not practice Wednesday, but the likely injury status would be: Out — Alshon Jeffery (hand); limited participation — Cutler (ribs); full participation — Sherrick McManis (hip).
For the Panthers, who did practice, it was: Did not participate — Antwan Applewhite (thigh), Thomas Keiser (elbow); limited participation — Ben Hartsock (calf); full participation — Dwan Edwards (hand) and Captain Munnerlyn (leg).