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Kurt Warner to Jay Cutler: Proceed with Caution

November 13th, 2012 at 5:26 PM
By PJ Foti

The NFL reviewed Chicago's handling of the concussion suffered by quarterback Jay Cutler and determined the team properly followed league protocol. Cutler didn't return in the second half after the hit he received from Tim Dobbins.

Cutler has not talked to the media since suffering the concussion. NFL rules prohibit concussed players from speaking with the media until they are medically cleared to play, but as a competitor, you know Cutler wants to be on the field against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.

Kurt Warner, has a message for him, however. He said Cutler should "be cautious" and determine on his own whether or not he's 100 percent. If not, Warner thinks he should sit not to prolong the injury.

"I think it has to come down to the individual, and that's exactly what I would tell Jay, is: 'If you're feeling anything … be cautious,' " Warner said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "It's not worth it long-term, and especially Jay right now. (The 7-2 Bears) are in a great situation as a team that they need him healthy. The big deal is for him to be able to play down the stretch and not have any concerns about his head or any issues that are prolonged."

Warner, who is an analyst for the NFL Network, has plenty of experience with concussions, as he's had plenty of his own throughout his time playing quarterback in the league. He even suffered one in his final season with the Arizona Cardinals, and although he passed the NFL tests to play made the decision on his own to sit.

"My last year I had suffered a concussion, and I passed the baseline test with better scores than I had when I originally took it," Warner said. "I could go out and practice and do everything I needed to do physically and mentally. Yet personally I knew I wasn't right. I knew that there was just something that was a little bit off, it was a little bit unclear. Ultimately it came down to me going: 'You know what, guys? I just don't feel right. I'm not going to play.' And I sat out a game even though everybody had cleared me and everybody had basically said I was OK to play. I knew I wasn't.

"A lot of times it comes down to that. It comes down to the individual being honest and saying: 'Am I good enough to play or am I good to play? Am I 100 percent healthy?' And I really think that's the key for any quarterback or any player in this game in how we prevent those things from becoming worse down the road."

Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith said Cutler is "getting better," but those are wise words from Warner.

Although Cutler and the Bears have thrived on Monday night, it would be wise for him to sit, even if he feels 99 percent. The 49ers are one of the hardest hitting defenses in the league, and Chicago sitting at 7-3 if they lose with a healthy Cutler moving forward is better than sitting 8-2 (or 7-3) with Cutler possibly banged up for a much longer period of time.

Cutler is the leader of this offense, and for the team to have any hope for the Super Bowl, they need him on the field.

For now, the team will run it's protocol tests and begin the process to determine when Cutler can return to practice, and then a game.

Tags: Arizona Cardinals, Chicago, Chicago Bears, Football, Jay Cutler, Kurt Warner, Lovie Smith, NFL, San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl, Tim Dobbins

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