Jay Cutler said Wednesday afternoon that Hunter Hillenmeyer, a teammate at Vanderbilt and with the Chicago Bears, reached out to him after he suffered a concussion 10 days ago in a loss at New Meadowlands Stadium.
Hillenmeyer, who is on injured reserve after the most recent concussion of his career, offered support and phone numbers for any experts Cutler might want to reach.
Maybe Cutler should have been the one advising Hillenmeyer back in August when he suffered his most recent head injury. That’s because the injury suffered against the New York Giants is the fifth reported concussion for Cutler since he’s been in college, according to the Chicago Tribune.
A Nov. 13, 2004, article in the Tennessean reported Cutler suffered three concussions while playing at Vanderbilt. He suffered a fourth in the season finale for the Denver Broncos in 2006. He was asked if he’d ever suffered a previous concussion.
“No,” Cutler said Wednesday.
It’s not possible he forgot the previous injuries. Cutler was fully cleared to return to football by the Bears’ medical team and an independent doctor. He will start Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field. The Bears have to be cautious.
How about the sixth ones?
Cutler has been sacked 17 times, more than any other quarterback in the NFL and he’s missed 1 ½ games.
“As soon as somebody’s been released (medically), then you have to assume everything’s fine and to approach it any other way would not be fair to everybody,” offensive coordinator Mike Martz said. “I’m just assuming everything’s good with him. I know that they’ve been very cautious. We’re always trying to protect him.”
Cutler says he doesn’t have any fears after the most recent injury.
“This league is all about battling through injuries and stuff, but obviously concussions and your head is something you have to take pretty seriously.
“I can’t change the way I play.”
He better hope he can avoid knocks to the head. The offensive line is a patchwork effort right now. The Bears (4-1) need Cutler and it’s a critical season for many in important positions at Halas Hall.
“I’ve been banged up before and stuff and still went out and played,” Cutler said. “But, you know your head and your brain is totally different. Once you start getting into that element you kind of have to take a step back.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
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