|Bears QB Jay Cutler suffered bruised ribs on this tackle by Detroit's Ndamukong Suh, but returned to finish the game and lead Chicago to the victory. (US Presswire)|
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler continued to take the high road Wednesday on the hit Monday by Detroit's Ndamukong Suh that bruised his ribs, while teammate Brandon Marshall continued to run interference for his friend and teammate.
Cutler took advantage of the day off of practice for Sunday's game with Carolina that coach Lovie Smith gave the entire team because they had played on Monday, and rested his ribs.
"Luckily today is more of a kind of mental (preparation) day," Cutler said. "I'll be ready to go by Sunday."
Cutler after the game called Suh's tackle more of a football move and nothing dirty, but Marshall had blasted it on Twitter.
"I'm not going to back off on that," Marshall said of his criticism of Suh. "I already said what I have to say but I think Jay is in a position with you (media) that anything he says may be taken the wrong way. So I think it's important for his teammates to maybe speak for him at times.
"I'm around Jay every single day on and off the field so I know how he feels. And for me, I just think it wasn't a good football play."
Suh did a sort of body slam with Cutler, but only after he had the Bears QB by the arm and couldn't get ahold of anything else except his shoulder.
Cutler called himself fortunate not to have been hurt worse.
"I was lucky, I think," he said. "It was awkward. I got sort of bent over his knee a little bit. You want to try to stay away from those as much as possible."
It almost looked like something from Wrestlemania.
"It was like a wrestling move a litle bit," Cutler said. "(Suh) plays hard. It's out of the pocket. He's playing football. I don't have a problem with that. I really don't. I don't think it was dirty. He plays an aggressive style of football. That's just who he is."
Cutler laughed about Marshall's support, saying it was "Brandon being Brandon," but the support he had Monday night from fans who cheered when he emerged from the tunnel after halftime, and when he came back onto the field meant more.
"That was good to hear," he said. "It (his fan support) hasn't always been great around here. But they're coming around slowly but surely."
Offensive coordinator Mike Tice called Cutler fortunate to be playing after a hit of that type.
"A tough SOB," Tice said. "He takes the bad hit. In football, they finish the plays and they take you to the ground. That's part of the game.
"For him to come back and suck it up, he probably was a little sore but I'm very, very proud of him."
Cutler doubts he'll have many limitations against a Carolina defense ranked 19th against the run and pass. The injury did limit his ability to follow through on throws in Monday's game.
Tice said he'd have to play it by ear as far as getting more practice reps to backup QB Jason Campbell, or limiting Cutler's reps just to help him avoid the pain.
"We'll let (QB coach ) Jeremy (Bates) call that," Tice said. "He'll communicate with Jay how he's feeling."
Cutler had a 24-yard scramble in the game and has run for 56 yards the past two games. He doubts the injury will limit his willingness to do this.
"You've got to play your style of football and running around," he said. "Trying to make plays is kind of part of my game. So it's risk/reward.”
Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter @CBSBears.