The trust between Bears coach Marc Trestman and quarterback Jay Cutler manifested in a new way during Sunday's 21-19 loss to the Lions.

With Cutler battling an injured left ankle in the second half, everyone involved wanted to be sure the most capable quarterback was in the game, whether it was Cutler or backup Josh McCown.

And so Cutler repeatedly checked with Trestman and McCown for feedback. Trestman, by sticking with Cutler until McCown's healthy legs were needed for a hurry-up situation in the final 2 minutes, 17 seconds, endeared himself to his starter.

"It meant a lot," Cutler said.

Cutler's ankle stiffened as the second half progressed. His athleticism diminished, and he sensed increased limitations in a close game with first place in the NFC North at stake.

Between series, Cutler sought evaluations from Trestman.

"I just asked him at one point, 'Do I look OK? And am I still getting it done?' Because I felt really restricted in the pocket with what I was able to do," Cutler said. "(The ball) wasn't getting out as quick. Some of my throws didn't have as much on them as I wanted. I knew Josh was ready to go, and I just didn't want to get to a point where I was hurting us more than I was helping us."

Trestman believed into the fourth quarter that Cutler was helping. McCown agreed. They were satisfied by the velocity of his throws and believed he needed only the right play calls and good protection to be productive.