Twice sidelined this season by injuries, Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler is back in the lineup for a team that has lost five consecutive games and allowed seven sacks last week.
"I'm excited," the impassive Cutler said Wednesday, managing a small smile at the question. "You always feel bad when you get hurt and you can't help your team."
Cutler was released from the concussion protocol, took part in practice and will start Sunday against Denver. He missed Sunday's loss at New England, which dropped Miami to 4-7, and missed a game in Week 8 because of cracked ribs.
How does he feel?
"Pretty good, thank you," Cutler said. He said the ribs are no longer an issue, but declined to discuss the concussion.
"I'm not going to go back and rehash that stuff," he said.
The response was even more terse when Cutler was asked how he looks back on his three seasons with the Broncos.
"I don't right now," he said.
Denver went 17-20 when Cutler started for them in his first three NFL seasons in 2008-10.
Matt Moore is 0-2 with Miami this season as the substitute starter for Cutler. Moore took a beating against the Patriots and sat out Wednesday's practice because of a foot injury.
Guard Jermon Bushrod remained out because of a foot injury. Damien Williams is sidelined by a shoulder injury, leaving Miami with only one experienced running back — Kenyan Drake.
That compounds the issues for an offense ranked 30th in the NFL. Miami is on pace for its lowest-scoring season in 50 years.
Cutler ranks 34th in the league in yards per attempt at a career-worst 5.9, but he's disinclined to reflect on the season or losing streak.
"I'm not really concerned with it," he said. "I think everyone is just focused on trying to win one game."
Among other challenges for Cutler against Denver's highly regarded defense, rust could be a factor. He has played only two complete games in the past six weeks.
"I think he'll be all right," coach Adam Gase said. "We just need to have a good week of practice and clean up some stuff, get the timing down, get the ball out on time and get open quick."