Just like Bears Nation, quarterback Jay Cutler was a hurting camper Monday morning, and he still showed up for work.
But it wasn't just the aftereffects of a crucial loss in Minnesota that was a pain in the neck for Cutler, it was the actual pain in the neck he suffered courtesy of a facemask-to-facemask hit delivered by the Vikings' Everson Griffen.
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"It's just tight; I got some treatment this morning so it should be ready to go later in the week," he said to wild applause during Monday's "Jay Cutler Show" on WMVP 1000-AM.
Cutler said it wasn't a culmination of hits that forced him to the sidelines late in the fourth quarter in Minnesota, just the one delivered by Griffen.
"It was just that one shot that snapped my neck back," he said. "It was neck-related; I was having spasms. I wasn't going to help anybody by being out there."
But he hopes to be back on the lakefront Sunday when Green Bay hits town for a crucial North Division contest.
"I don't see why not," Cutler said. "I have nothing else to do."
Having dropped four of their last five games, the Bears need Cutler in the lineup against the Packer if they hope to right the ship with a playoff berth looming.
"You never like to lose games in November and December -- we've talked about that," Cutler said. "We're still in control of our destiny, three games left … we've got to get this one (against Green Bay) and then move on to the next one.
"Unless you're striving for a Super Bowl, you might as well not play. Once you get in the playoffs, anything can happen. If we win Sunday, we're back on top again and we're right there."
Other tidbits from Cutler during Monday's ESPN radio show with Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman:
On the pass-heavy offense:
"Hindsight is always 20-20 on what you should have done. We were definitely playing catch-up, put the ball in the air a lot -- whether it's right or wrong, it's what we did and we have to live with it."
On Matt Forte's involvement:
"I think in these next three games, for us to get where we want to go, we're going to have to ride Matt Forte pretty hard. We're going to have to have a balanced offense, and it starts with him."
On his own performance:
"I was 22 for 44, 50 percent -- that's not good. You look at that game, our stats were pretty good but it doesn't tell the story of the game. We were never really in control of that game. It's hard to win football games on the road like that."
On Brian Urlacher's next deal:
"However that plays out, that's between the franchise and Brian. Love to have him back, personally. ... Those things get dicey. It's a decision I'm glad I don't have to make."
Cutler had this to say about his comments last week that he might give the Bears a hometown discount on his next contract.
"That was just for ratings."