There is some irony and, yes, unfairness in the fact the Bears’ top four wide receivers have gone down with injuries that apparently will keep them out of the preseason game Saturday against the Bengals. That is the third preseason game, the one generally considered the most important before the real stuff begins.
It is ironic and unfair for quarterback Jay Cutler, most of all.
Most Bears fans are skeptical of Cutler’s ability to lead this offense, given that last season wasn’t so great (even if the real dud was the Bears’ defense). But taking away a fellow’s main passing targets is like taking away a chef’s prime steaks.
The irony is that Cutler had Brandon Marshall (since traded to the Jets) and now-injured Alshon Jeffery to throw to last season. So if he thought he had 2015 first-round pick Kevin White to drop in there as a sweet replacement for Marshall, now he gets Marc Mariani.
White is injured, like everybody else. But his damaged shin required surgery, so that’s even worse than just being banged up. Nobody even has seen the guy practice.
My advice? Run the ball, Jay. That is, hand it off to Matt Forte and his gang. Don’t run it yourself.
Second tip? Throw the ball quickly and often to tight end Martellus ‘‘The Black Unicorn’’ Bennett. Stick the pigskin right on his mythical horn again and again, even if Bennett was quoted as saying in a recent magazine article that Cutler isn’t necessarily a leader on the team.
Indeed, Bennett told Chicago magazine: ‘‘Sometimes I like Cutty, and sometimes I don’t. When I think of a leader, I think, ‘If he started a company, would guys come to work for him?’ There’s a lot of guys on our team who, if they started a business, it’d be, ‘[Expletive] you, I’m gonna go work at McDonald’s.’ ’’
At any rate, Cutler has said nothing but nice things about the never-quiet ‘‘Unicorn,’’ so that shows some class.
But real class for Cutler will be surviving this game and living to throw to real receivers in real games when they begin two weeks from now.
Good luck, pal.
Follow me on Twitter @ricktelander.