'Happenings at Halas:' Jay Cutler sports a cast, Bears confident - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

'Happenings at Halas:' Jay Cutler sports a cast, Bears confident in McCown

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Jay Cutler is in a hard cast as a precaution, providing more stability to his left ankle as he recovers from a high ankle sprain. He remains week to week.

And the Bears remain confident in his back up. Josh McCown has raised his own value through his preparation and ability to step in and play well. He has allowed the Bears to continue to run the offense the same way they would with Cutler. Though they are different and everyone acknowledges the arm strength of number 6. No one is knocking what McCown has done. In six quarters and one two-minute drill, he's thrown four touchdowns, zero interceptions and carries a quarterback rating over 103--that's the highest of his career. The Bears system has kept him at ease.

His attitude keeps him humble. "It's energized me, no doubt about it," McCown said, "working with great people who are going to put me in a position to be successful."

"We're lucky to have a good back up in Josh McCown," Aaron Kromer said Thursday.

The Bears offensive coordinator hesitated to rate McCown's play among other backups around the league. After all, it's been a game and a half. But no one can argue with production. And it's led to a better feeling now that the Bears have no choice but to start him.

"This team feels very good about him. In this environment here, he's the back-up, but we trust him to go in there and seamlessly get the job done."

That was the extent of the head coach's comments when asked if McCown could be an every game starter. He's shown the ability. He's done it before. But that's not his focus or his role.

McCown says when he arrived in Chicago he was essentially a number 3 behind Cutler and then back-up Jason Campbell. McCown took it upon himself to find a way to contribute to the team any way he could. He knew that would start with being a good teammate. It's how he proved valuable. He's actually, legit friends with Cutler.

"I value friendships in my life," McCown explained. "If there is something I say or do that eases Jay's mind, you've added overall value to the team."

He definitely added value to the press conference--always thoughtful, insightful and polite. He plays humbly and he lives humbly. How can you not root for him to be successful?

INJURY: Cutler and Lance Briggs remain out for Sunday's game. Martellus Bennett did not practice today because of a sore ankle. Coaches hope one day of rest will be enough. Bennett wasn't so sure.

Shea McClellin is using that ARP machine Cutler raved about last week, but remained sidelined, only doing side work. Jeremiah Ratliff, Patrick Mannelly also did not participate. Jordan Mills was limited with a sore quad.

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