Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould said in a radio interview on Monday that Jay Cutler was not the person to blame for the team's poor performance, and questioned coach Marc Trestman's decision to bench Cutler for last weekend's loss to the Detroit Lions.
Gould expressed dismay with the blame that he felt was being leveled at Cutler, and said the reasoning for taking Cutler out of the lineup was not clear.
"To be honest with you, I feel really bad for Jay," Gould said during a radio interview. "When you're having a tough season like this, he's not the guy to be the scapegoat or the guy to blame. There's a lot of guys you could that blame on."
"I honestly don't even know what the message is [from Cutler's benching]...I think [Trestman] thought maybe he thought this was going to provide a spark to the team. That's what he told us. I wish Jay was out there playing."
Cutler, who started Chicago's first 14 games, has struggled this season. He has passed for 3,640 yards on 66 percent passing, throwing 28 touchdowns but also tossing 18 interceptions, the most in the league. He signed a seven-year deal worth $126.7 million in January.
Jimmy Clausen started in Cutler's place, completing 23 of his 39 pass attempts for 181 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Clausen, 27, appeared in three previous games for the Bears this season, but had not started an NFL game since the 2010 season.
"You could bench the whole team," Gould said. "It's not like anybody has really played fantastic or great...Jay is not the issue. It's just unfortunate. This is, honestly, it's not the Bear way. I mean, this whole season is not the Bear way. Pointing fingers, things getting out of the locker room -- that's not the Chicago Bear way."
Gould also revealed that the right quadriceps injury that has kept out him for the last three games will prevent him from playing in the Bears' final game, against the Vikings on road next weekend. He has not played since Nov. 27.
At 5-10, the Bears are currently in last place in the NFC North.