Bears, Cutler need a miracle

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) hangs his head after taking being sacked by the New...

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) hangs his head after taking being sacked by the New Orleans Saints defense during their NFL football game in New Orleans, Louisiana September 18, 2011. (REUTERS/Sean Gardner)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:01 PM ET

The Chicago Bears are a team in trouble.

They have lost their quarterback, Jay Cutler, and last week lost running back Matt Forte.

The offensive game plan, before Forte went down, was for backup quarterback Caleb Hanie to hand off to Forte and throw only when necessary.

But when Forte left so did the Bears’ running game and Hanie’s warts became evident for all to see.

With Hanie running the show the Bears have lost two in a row including last Sunday’s home game to the offensively challenged Kansas City Chiefs.

The Bears, meanwhile, have said they are not interested in bringing in any veteran relief in the form of Donovan McNabb.

That means they either live or die with Hanie or light candles and pray that Cutler and his broken thumb somehow magically returns before the regular season comes to an end.

Prior to their two-game losing streak the Bears had won five in a row and at 7-3 seemed home free. But that has all changed.

The Bears faithful, meanwhile, have to believe that somehow, Cutler will return in time and on Wednesday they were thrown a bone by Cutler himself who told ESPN radio that he hopes to begin throwing in a few weeks time. After that, who knows?

“We were doing some grip stuff this past week, trying to get some flexibility and mobility back in there,” Cutler said Wednesday. “The next couple of weeks hopefully I’ll be able to throw the football and hopefully some of this pain subsides.”

Cutler said he had an X-ray last week and had the stitches removed on Wednesday.

“Everything is kind of on track, it’s just a matter of letting that bone really heal and maybe taking the pins out, maybe not,” Cutler said. “It’s just time and time is not really on our side right now, but that’s the only thing we can really do.”

Cutler went on to explain that his surgeon, Dr. Randy Viola of Vail, Colo., used an unorthodox technique to ensure that he would be able to grip the football with the pins and screws inserted.

“My biggest concern with it was — because we were going to pin it and we were going to screw it — and my concern and Dr. Viola’s concern was that even if I got some stiffness I would be able to grip the ball normally,” Cutler told ESPN. “During the surgery he brought in a sterilized football and put my hand on it after he screwed everything in and made sure my grip was where I liked it, and I would have some freedom and flexibility. He’s on top of his game. I didn’t go out there for nothing.”

Right now, with Hanie, the Bears are getting nothing and he has tossed six interceptions in the two losses. Cutler said he simply has to relax.

“Quit thinking as much. Just go out there and let it happen,” Cutler said. “I think he wants to be successful. He’s doing everything right during the week ... He’s just got to let it happen.”

On Sunday it doesn’t get any easier for the Bears and Hanie as they travel to Denver to take on Tebow-mania and a tough Broncos defence.

GIANTS CONFIDENT

The New York Giants have lost four games in a row and must win out to make the playoffs.

Of their four remaining games, two are against the Cowboys, the first meeting Sunday in Dallas. A loss on Sunday and they are all but mathematically eliminated.

Given that scenario, you would think they would be measured and low-key in their statements leading up to the game, one where they are a 3 1/2-point underdog.

However, in last week’s 38-35 loss to Green Bay, the Giants regained a measure of confidence and believe that will carry over in Dallas and through the remainder of the regular season.

No member of the Giants team is more confident, more fired up than safety Antrel Rolle.

After the loss to Green Bay he promised “once we get into the playoffs there’s not going to be anything that can stop us.”

He followed up that bit of bravado with more playoff talk during his weekly appearance on New York radio station, WFAN.

“You ask will we make the playoffs? Without a doubt,” Rolle said. “Without a doubt. We will be in that postseason.”

Currently the Giants are a game back of the Cowboys in the race for the division crown.

Dallas fans are praying that in Sunday’s game, head coach John Garrett doesn’t get another brain camp like the one he suffered in the closing seconds of regulation time in last week’s game against Arizona.

Garrett called a time out just as his placekicker Dan Bailey was booting what would have been a game-winning field goal. On the second attempt, Bailey was short and left and the Cowboys would go on to lose in overtime, a turn of events that may cost them their season and Garrett his job.

Combating that negative vibe is the likelihood that both wide receiver Miles Austin and fullback Tony Fiammetta will be back in action.

VIKES’ PETERSON WANTS BACK IN

Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson is hopeful that he will be able to return to action for Sunday’s game against the Lions. He has been out with a high ankle sprain since suffering the injury Nov. 20 against the Raiders.

“God willing I’ll be out there (Sunday),” Peterson said in a Minneapolis radio interview. “I’m like 70%.”

The point of contention is that at 70%, do the 2-10 Vikings want to push Peterson and take that chance that he could be injured further.

“To be honest with you, it’s been my decision,” Peterson said. “And I’ve played, I’ve been out there on the field before at 80% and did pretty good. But ultimately what it’s going to come down to is I’m going to have the opportunity to test it out and run on it and try to cut. And each week I’ve been making improvements.

“This past Saturday I stepped out and from Friday — the day before I ran on it — to Saturday it was like a tremendous difference as far as my top-end speed and making cuts. So I kind of figured then Friday, a week after, of resting it up and doing the things I’m doing to rehab it, I’ll be feeling pretty good.

“Even being 2-10, I just want to get back out there and help my guys win some games.”


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