BE: Should Bears play it safe with Cutler?

In case you missed it, we’ll start this morning’s edition of Bears Essentials with my ESPN colleague Michael Wilbon’s assertion that the Bears should play it safe Sunday and start backup quarterback Josh McCown against the Detroit Lions instead of Jay Cutler. This isn’t about a quarterback controversy or anything like that. Wilbon, like me, believes it might be too early to expose Cutler to injury, especially with McCown playing so well right now. Why not let Cutler regain full health before putting him back into the lineup, minimizing the risk of a setback to what might very well be your franchise quarterback of the next several years?

Wilbon writes: "But McCown ain't [Caleb] Hanie. And Cutler is coming back from a groin injury, perhaps the most nagging injury an athlete can have in any sport. Do you really want to expose your franchise quarterback, the guy you could be about to invest $100 million in, to tangle with Ndamukong Suh so soon after suffering a groin injury? Have we learned nothing from 18 months of talking about Derrick Rose? Haven't we learned it's hard enough to play the position healthy, and that the Bears should take every precaution to make sure Cutler is ready and then some before they put him back out there?

"I'd start McCown against the Lions, and I'd have Cutler warming up in the bullpen with no reservation about having a quick hook."

That’s actually a pretty good idea.

Here’s the link. Let us know what you think.

-- CSNChicago.com’s John Mullin suggests the Bears are finally gaining on the Packers, which is probably true. But Chicago needs to get a few more strong drafts under general manager Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman to make a definitive call on this. Sure, Chicago’s win Monday night at Lambeau Field was significant, and I’ll buy that the Bears are gaining on the Packers some. But there’s still a way to go for Chicago.

-- Bears running back Matt Forte receives some well-deserved credit for his role in the win over the Packers. Forte is quietly putting together a strong season, and is on pace for a career-high 1,316 rushing yards. Forte hasn’t eclipsed the 1,200-yard rushing mark since he was a rookie in 2008.

Against the Packers, Forte ran seven times for 44 yards during an 18-play scoring drive that chewed up 8 minutes, 58 seconds and spanned 80 yards, with Robbie Gould sealing the victory with a 27-yard field goal.

Forte has averaged 5.7 and 5.2 yards per carry in his last two outings, and he finally left Lambeau Field with a victory for the first time in his six-year career.