Statistically, Jay Cutler was off to one of the best starts by an NFL quarterback in history.
Given the undetected drop in physical strength he went through during the latter part of his first full season in 2007, Cutler's early performance to date is remarkable beyond stats.
During his press conference today to address his recent diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, Cutler said he showed up at training camp last year weighing 238 pounds and played his last game at around 203.
Don't blame the Broncos' medical team. They can't treat what they can't evaluate. As he gradually shed some 35 pounds, Cutler never reported any problem.
"Looking back on it I probably should have," he said. "I don't like doctors. I don't like trainers. I tried to stay away from them as much as possible. Looking back, there was some throws where I didn't have a lot of pop behind it. I was able to go out and perform but I just wasn't energetic, I was tired. After games I was completely wiped out. And some games I didn't do a whole lot. There was just something wrong."
In his 21-game career, Cutler has completed 62.6 percent of his passes for nearly 4,500 yards with 29 touchdowns, 19 interceptions and an 88.2 passer rating. Not bad for someone who was struggling through the early symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, a condition makes him insulin dependent. Cutler said was diagnosed with the disease on April 15 or 16th.
He has since been taking insulin injections about four or five times a day and said his weight is back up to 220. Several Type 1 diabetic athletes have enjoyed productive careers, including former NFL quarterback Wade Wilson, who played 18 seasons and was a Pro Bowler for Minnesota in 1988.
Cutler said he would have to monitor his condition before, after and even during games as physical activity tends to lower blood-sugar levels. But the condition is manageable and after a while becomes part of a person's daily routine.
"I'm going to be fine," he said. "Obviously, this is a serious, serious disease and I'm going to have it for the rest of my life. It's not going to affect me on the field. I'm going to make some lifestyle changes but I'll be a better quarterback this year than I was last year."
Cutler's foundation has already began to direct its efforts towards benefiting the Dedicated to Diabetes research effort.
Here's the scary thing: Just think how Culter would have performed if he was at full strength. It' great that this ailment was detected and now we can look forward to Cutler lighting up the scoreboard this season!