Denver Broncos  

 

Cutler's finger feels fine after week off

  • By Associated Press
More Columns >

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Jay Cutler declared the dinged-up index finger on his throwing hand is feeling fine.

The Denver Broncos' quarterback effortlessly validated the point, winging a pass nearly 60 yards downfield in practice Wednesday.

"It feels pretty good," he said. "Got lucky."

Jay Cutler, QB
Denver Broncos

Height: 6-3
Weight: 233
College: Vanderbilt
Experience: 3rd season

» Fantasy QB rankings

Lucky that he didn't suffer a similar fate as Tony Romo, who's been sidelined since breaking the pinkie finger on his throwing hand on Oct. 12.

Cutler's finger swelled up after he smacked it on a helmet during the first play of a 41-7 loss to New England, but it wasn't broken -- just bumped and bruised.

The concern proved pointless as Cutler's zip hasn't dipped due to the dinged digit.

Just ask Michael Pittman.

"He's playing like the Jay I know," said Pittman, who plans on being available Sunday against Miami despite sore ribs. "He's got a real strong arm, one of the strongest quarterbacks I've been around. I plan on Jay having a big game this weekend."

He had a game he'd rather forget at New England. Cutler threw for a season-low 168 yards and two interceptions. He also sat out a series late in the first half due to the finger, leading to an elbow injury to backup Patrick Ramsey that knocked him out for the year.

Cutler was also banged up trying to chase down Andre Hall's second fumble of the game, with Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork elbowing Cutler in the helmet.

"I think I got rolled up by (Rodney) Harrison and then on my way back up, I think (Wilfork) gave me a forearm to the head," said Cutler, who felt "a little dizzy" following the hit. "I guess they called him in on it."

Wilfork will be fined but not suspended by the NFL after meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

With his finger no longer a concern, Cutler can turn his attention to another irksome issue -- fixing a scuffling offense.

The Broncos may soon have some of their absent arsenal back as Brandon Stokley is nearing full strength after a concussion, while Selvin Young (groin) and Tony Scheffler (groin) both think they're close to returning.

All three practiced on a limited basis Wednesday along with Hall (ankle).

"To not be a part of (the offense) in the past couple of weeks and having to sit back and watch has been tough," Scheffler said. "Hopefully, I'll get back out there this week."

Cutler can't wait to have those playmakers back at his disposal.

"It helps out our offense, what we're trying to do. It doesn't limit us," Cutler said.

The return of Stokley could help alleviate the pressure on Brandon Marshall, who's drawing a steady dose of double coverage. Even with the added attention, Marshall is still tied for third in the league with 49 catches.

"We've just got to find ways to get him the ball," Cutler said.

An effective ground game could open up things for Marshall and the rest of the receivers.

Enter Ryan Torain.

With Young hobbled, Hall having trouble holding onto the football and Pittman's ribs aching, the Broncos may trot out Torain, a rookie from Arizona State who's been missing since breaking a bone in his elbow in August.

"I'm excited to play," Torain said. "It just feels good to be back."

His arrival couldn't come at a more opportune time.

"He just adds a little juice to the backfield," Cutler said. "To get fresh legs back there, it's definitely going to help. I think he's going to help us out a lot."

Before the injury, Torain was looking at carries in short-yardage situations, a role that Pittman thrived in before being promoted to lead tailback when Young went down.

Torain is anxious to return to that role -- or any other.

"I'll definitely be ready," he said.

Cutler is preparing to face a swarm of Dolphins defenders led by linebacker Joey Porter, the league leader with 10 1/2 sacks.

"You've got to keep your eye on that guy," said Cutler, who's thrown at least one touchdown pass in his last eight games. "Their whole defense is getting pressure and causing a lot of fumbles, which we have been prone to the last three or four games."

Turnovers have terrorized the team this season. The Denver offense has surrendered the ball 12 times over the last four weeks, thwarting one scoring chance after another.

"We're driving the ball on a lot of people. It's just when we get down there in the red zone we find a way to turn over the ball," Pittman said. "If we eliminate that and go out there and perform, we'll start putting up the points again."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

Headlines

The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop

NFL News
CONTENT
15