Is Jay Cutler on pace for a sooner-than-expected return to the field?
Perhaps — but it’s not definite.
Cutler believes that he will be available for the Dolphins’ Week 9 game against the Raiders, but that decision has not yet been made — and will not be until next week, the Herald has learned. Cutler was originally expected to sit out multiple games.
All that has been determined as of now: Cutler will miss Thursday night’s game in Baltimore with two cracked ribs. ESPN reported Thursday morning that Cutler is expected to be available the following week.
Cutler, who tried to return to the game Sunday after injuring his chest, has 10 more days to heal before the Dolphins host the Raiders, and a decision on his availability will be made as the game nears.
Regardless of next week, Matt Moore will play Thursday against the Ravens. Is it an audition for the rest of the year? Perhaps, but Moore would really need to shine to keep a healthy Cutler, favored by Adam Gase and earning $10 million this year, on the bench.
Moore made his 29th career start Thursday, but just his first appearance ever against the Ravens.
Entering the game, Moore had the superior stat line, albeit in a much smaller sample size.
Moore had completed 61.9 percent of his passes with two touchdown, one interception and averaged 9.0 yards per passing attempt.
Cutler, meanwhile, has completed 62.8 percent his passes this year with seven touchdowns, five interceptions with a 5.5 yards-per-pass average.
Both are filling in for Ryan Tannehill, who is out for the season with a torn ACL.
Tannehill and Cutler made the trip to Baltimore, even though neither had a chance to play.
Moore’s backup Thursday was David Fales, who signed with the team in the days following Cutler’s injury.
Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen on Tuesday was asked the difference between Moore and Cutler.
“He probably wears it on his sleeve a little bit more where they both have great motors, but Matt just wears his emotions on his sleeve. He’s kind of outgoing. He’s all over the place. I think probably that. He has a little – we talked about it last year – he has a little gunslinger to him. He’s going to take some chances. He’s going to get that ball out quick. He came in and did a really, really nice job, as you would expect him to. I don’t think anybody was surprised that he came in out of the bullpen and threw strikes, if you will.”
Miami Herald sportswriter Armando Salguero contributed to this report.