With a Sunday night game against the Cowboys (8:30 p.m. ET), the Bears claim not to be sure when their starting quarterback will return following Monday's 29-14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. All signs point to veteran Brian Hoyer making the start for the 0-2 Bears.
Cutler's thumb injury caused him to come out of the game in the third quarter after losing a fumble and throwing an interception.
The injury has been diagnosed merely as a sprained thumb, but the possibility looms that it is a chronic problem stemming from Cutler's broken thumb of 2011. Coach John Fox was vague on whether this is the case.
"If Jay's ready to do it, fine. If not, we'll go with Brian Hoyer," Fox said on Tuesday.
The Bears will split snaps if Cutler can take part in practices.
Fox said he was surprised to see the way Cutler short-armed passes several times. He wasn't sure when the injury originally started to bother Cutler.
"I think Jay probably originally hurt his thumb five years ago," he said, referring to a 2011 broken thumb that ended Cutler's season.
Asked if the thumb bothered Cutler in practice last week, Fox said: "It didn't appear to, I'm not a doctor."
After Monday's game, Cutler said he hurt it "early on" in the defeat at Soldier Field, and aggravated it when he was sacked and lost a fumble. Then it hurt worse as the game continued, he said.
"I'm concerned," Cutler said. "As a quarterback, you kind of need your right thumb."
Possibly as important as Cutler's health is the team's relationship with him.
After Cutler threw a game-sealing interception, he was confronted by injured Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee along the sideline. McPhee was caught on video and in photos yelling at Cutler, who left the game at that point.
"I'm fine with that," Cutler said. "He's a passionate guy. Everyone has a lot invested into this, and he does, as well. No one likes to lose. No one likes to lose in that fashion. He's upset. I'm upset. Everyone in that locker room is upset right now.
"But, the good thing is that we have a lot of good guys in there, and we have a bunch of good coaches, and we have 14 games left."
Fox attempted to push it off as a healthy situation.
"These guys are competitive, they're going to hold each other accountable," Fox said. "You're going to have not confrontations, but conversations.
"That's always been the case on any football team I've ever been around."
At times in the past, Cutler's toughness has been questioned - not by coaches, but many outside the organization. When he left the 2010 NFC championship game due to a knee sprain, it added to these questions.
"I think he's shown toughness," Fox said. "I've mentioned that in the past. I don't think that's a question.
"Right now we're not playing as crisp as we need to on offense. And that includes everybody, the coaches, myself, the players. All our signatures are on it. We've got to play better and that's everywhere."
The Bears' offense has produced one touchdown in 19 possessions.
Cutler was hardly the only problem on Monday.
Against Philadelphia, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was shut down in the second half for the second straight week, making two catches for 23 yards after hauling in three for 73 prior to halftime. The running game fizzled from the start, with 10 first-half yards and 64 total.
"I think everyone is probably a little taken aback by what happened during that game," Cutler said. "We had a good game plan. Dowell (Loggains, offensive coordinator) and the coaches are putting together good games and calling good games. It's just kind of one thing after another that kills drives.
"So, we've got to figure it out, obviously."
Fox called it a repeat of the first game from the standpoint that the Bears were in a tight battle, then fizzled due to their own mistakes.
"We all take responsibility," he said. "It starts with me. I think we've been our own worst enemy. We just haven't executed. That was early.
"I think we probably were less effective in the second half, much like we were in the first game in Houston.
With 14 games left, it's obviously early for even a team with as much recent history for failure as the Bears to forget about the season.
"There's a long season ahead," linebacker Willie Young said. "We can't be frustrated right now. This is the NFL. If you're frustrated right now in Week 2, regardless of what's going on, it's going to be a long year for you."
-- Cutler's thumb is not the only one of concern. Middle linebacker Danny Trevathan suffered a thumb injury that requires surgery on Wednesday.
Fox did not think it was a season-ending type of injury. It was an injury that went unreported immediately after Monday's game.
"We don't think it's that long-term," Fox said.