Lions’ Suh wants Jay Cutler to play Sunday
BY DAVE BIRKETT Detroit Free Press November 6, 2013 6:38PM
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) is thrown down by Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90) in the second quarter on Monday, October 22, 2012 in at Soldier Field. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 6, 2013 6:40PM
If a torn groin muscle keeps Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler out of Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions, one of his most prominent tormentors will be severely disappointed.
And if Aaron Rodgers can’t play when the Green Bay Packers come to town on Thanksgiving because of a fractured collar bone, well, the NFL’s favorite villain will be bummed about that, too.
“I like going against Aaron Rodgers,” Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said. “I like going against Cutler and I wish them the best speedy recoveries so I can come back and go against them and take them down.”
The Bears did not practice today, but coach Marc Trestman said Cutler would have been limited if they did and is “day-to-day” with an injury he suffered in the first half of an Oct. 20 loss at Washington.
Cutler sounded pessimistic about his chances of playing Sunday when he met with Chicago reporters earlier this week. If he can’t go, former Lions backup Josh McCown will make his second straight start.
“I’ve been very impressed with what (McCown has) looked like,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “I’m sure they would rather have Cutler back; any team would rather have their starting quarterback. But no matter who we get, we’re not going to take it lightly.”
McCown has three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 100.2 passer rating in the six quarters of football this year. He led the Bears to a 27-20 win over Green Bay on Monday night, when Rodgers was hurt on the opening series.
Theoretically, those injuries should help the Lions’ chances of winning a division title for the first time since 1993. The Lions, Bears and Packers are tied atop the NFC North with 5-3 records, and the Lions could face backup quarterbacks when they meet both teams in the coming weeks.
Still, Suh said he’s rooting for Cutler to play Sunday.
“I love playing against Cutler,” Suh said. “He’s a tough guy. No discredit to McCown, but I want the best shot. Whichever quarterback’s healthier and the healthiest to go and is going to give them their best opportunity, that’s who I want to go against. I want to beat the best no matter what, every single week.”
Suh and Cutler have a colorful history together.
In 2010, Suh was fined for a forearm to the back of Cutler’s neck at Ford Field. Last year, Suh knocked Cutler temporarily out of the Lions’ Monday night loss in Chicago with a WWE-style takedown over his knee.
He was not fined for that hit, and downplayed any rivalry between the two today.
“I would say I have history with anybody who’s in the NFC North just because I play against them twice a year,” he said.
Suh has five sacks in seven career games against the Bears and was a big reason for the Lions’ 40-32 win over Chicago at Ford Field in September.
He had two sacks and four tackles in that game, forced a fumble that Nick Fairley recovered and returned for a touchdown, and generally dominated his battle against Bears right guard Kyle Long, a lineman Chicago coaches said they drafted in the first round last year specifically to combat Suh.
Like Cutler, Suh said he wants to see plenty of Long on Sunday.
“That’s their prodigy, their golden boy,” Suh said. “So that’s the best that they have, that’s who I want to go against.”