Lake Forest, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman
announced on Thursday that quarterback Jay Cutler has been medically cleared
and will be under center against the Cleveland Browns.
Cutler took all the first-team reps in practice on Thursday for the first time
in more than a month after missing the last four games with a high left ankle
sprain suffered in a 21-19 loss to Detroit on Nov. 10.
"There was no residual issue, no swelling," said Trestman. "I expect Jay to
play well, play efficiently."
Josh McCown has more than held his own in Cutler's absence, tossing 10
touchdown passes with just one interception since taking over late in the loss
to the Lions. McCown led Chicago to a 2-2 record over his last four starts and
was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after throwing for four touchdowns
with a rushing score in Monday night's 45-28 rout of the Cowboys.
Some anticipated Trestman might stick with McCown, but the first-year coach
put an end to those rumors.
"This decision (to play Cutler) was made a long time ago," Trestman added. "I
don't look at it like that."
Cutler has thrown for 1,908 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions
in eight starts this season.
The 7-6 Bears are currently tied atop the NFC North standings with the Lions,
who own the tiebreaker after completing a season-sweep of Chicago.
Linebacker Lance Briggs participated in practice on a limited basis. His
status is still unknown for Sunday.
The Sports Network