Injured quarterback Jay Cutler expects to practice this week and doesn't think the bruised ribs he suffered on a sack by Ndamukong Suh in Monday's win over the Detroit Lions will affect him Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.
"I know I'm not going to have any problems," Cutler said Tuesday during his weekly appearance on the Waddle & Silvy Show on ESPN AM-1000. "(Wednesday) is more of a mental day for us, coming off a Monday night game. We'll have a hard Thursday, Friday and a little bit of a work day on Saturday before the game. I'll be good to go by Thursday."
Cutler, who will be monitored throughout the week, reiterated that he didn't consider Suh's hard sack a dirty play.
"That was a tough hit," Cutler said. "He caught me just right. I think it was an awkward fall more than anything. I kind of got caught on his knee and the ball a little bit.
"That defense, you know going into it what their intentions are. They play hard football and they get after the quarterback. I still think it was clean. (Suh) is a good player, and that's what makes him who he is, playing that way."
But Cutler said he expects a different style of play from Suh and the Lions than he does from other players and teams
"There are certain guys that just kind of know how to take you down," Cutler said. "They wrap you up and they get you on the ground. With this team, their intentions are to drive you into the ground. We know that going into it. Is it against the rules? No, not by any means."
Devin Hester did not have the kind of game he expected against the Lions, who came in ranked last in punt-return average and 30th in kickoff-return average allowed.
He had just 1 punt return for 5 yards, 2 fair catches and allowed two other punts to land and bounce backward for negative yardage. Hester did not return kickoffs, and he was removed from punt-return duties midway through the second quarter but returned in the fourth quarter.
Why the benching?
"Some mistakes I made," Hester said.
Near the end of the first quarter, Hester let a Nick Harris punt land at the 31 and bounce to the Bears' 19-yard line. Harris' next punt landed inside the 20 and was downed at the 4-yard line.
"I've got to come up and fair catch those," said Hester, who holds the NFL record with 17 combined kick-return touchdowns. "That was pretty much what happened. I let the ball hit."
By the numbers:
In the previous seven times the Bears started a season 5-1 or better since the 1970 merger, they made the playoffs each time (2006, 2001, 1990, 1988, 1987, 1986 and 1985). In 2006, they started 7-0 and advanced to Super Bowl XLI. The Super Bowl XX champions started 12-0 in 1985. … The Bears' defense has given up just 3 touchdowns in its last four games while scoring five times on interception returns. The Bears lead the NFL in scoring defense, allowing just 13 points per game (78 points in six games).