(CBS) Though both players have made public comments expressing their desire to return from injuries earlier than their initial timetables, don’t expect to see either Jay Cutler or Lance Briggs any time soon.
Bears general manager Phil Emery confirmed that much Thursday morning on The Mully and Hanley Show.
“The (original) timetables are accurate,” Emery said. “That hasn’t changed. But I will tell you this: the positive mindset of somebody that has an injury is a key part of them healing. Obviously, they feel good and they’re feeling like they’re ahead of schedule, so that’s a good thing. If they end up that way and they have medical clearance, our medical staff feels they’re ready to go, then they’ll play. But right now, we’re on the same timetable.
Jay Cutler is scheduled to miss “at least” four weeks with a torn groin and Lance Briggs will miss six weeks with a fractured shoulder.
Both injuries were suffered in the team’s loss to the Redskins on Oct. 20.
Emery also addressed the biggest question the team will face following this season. What should the Bears do with Cutler as he enters free agency?
“Those decision will be made at the end of the year, as they always are, in terms of a final evaluation of the player and where we’re moving forward on the players that are out of contract,” Emery said. “Jay’s season is not over, so the evaluation is not over. I’ve said repetitively – I’m a Jay fan and I continue to be. He’s improved this year in a number of categories and I think the most important area that I see growth in him is as a person and as a player, as a leader. He’s stepped up in that area and I’m very proud of him for it. It’s good for our team that it has happened.”
Emery also said he has no plans of switching the Bears defense from 4-3 to a 3-4 scheme.