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updated: 11/21/2012 4:10 PM

Sunday uncertain, but Cutler cleared to practice

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  • Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, right, says he doesn't know if he'll be able to play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, but he hopes to practice on Thursday with the team.

    Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, right, says he doesn't know if he'll be able to play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, but he hopes to practice on Thursday with the team.
    Associated Press


Concussed Bears quarterback Jay Cutler didn't shed any light on his status for Sunday against the Vikings at his Wednesday morning news conference.

"I don't know," he said. "We'll see. I feel good."

Cutler said he had no symptoms but added: "We're going through the process. (There are) still a few things to go through this week. We'll see how it goes."

The Bears did not practice Wednesday, but if they had, Cutler would have been able to participate on a limited basis, according to coach Lovie Smith.

"Jay has to be cleared to practice on a limited basis," the coach said. "Before he can play he has to be cleared by an independent neurologist, and we're not to that point. Right now he is good to go for practice on a limited basis.

So Cutler will practice Thursday when the team returns to work and then be re-evaluated and possibly cleared for Sunday.

"(I've) got to see some more doctors," he said. "You've got to go on the field and make sure you can exert yourself. Really, it's a personal thing just making sure you feel OK."

Cutler has some ideas on what the team can do to improve offensively and to provide better protection for the quarterback, whether it's him or backup Jason Campbell.

"Were going to have to do some stuff protection wise," Cutler said. "We have to establish the running game; I think you build from there. We've got to get an identity offensively of who we are and what plays we feel comfortable running. You can max protect. You've got to pick your spots. You've got to be smart with play calling."

Cutler said the Bears won't achieve their goals if the offensive line performs as it did against the 49ers, allowing Campbell to be sacked six times Monday night.

"We're not going to be successful against anyone," Cutler said.

When asked about it, Cutler also said he would be against a mandatory one-week waiting period for every player who suffers a concussion.

"Every person is different," Cutler said. "Every hit is different. That wouldn't be fair to the players."

Starting Thursday, Cutler will probably get as many practice reps as he can handle, but the Bears have to make sure Campbell is ready as well.

"I expect both of us to get some reps," Campbell said. "He may get the majority. We'll see how the week progresses. I do have a couple reps under my belt, and I got a chance to play a full four-quarter game. It wasn't the way I planned or the way we all planned, but we put it behind us and move forward."

No one will blame Campbell if he moves forward a little more slowly in the next couple days after the pummeling he took from the 49ers.

"I was a lot more sore today," he said on Wednesday. "It's the 48-hour rule. It's always the second day that you're the sorest. There's going to be some cold-tubbing, some hot tub, some treatment to get back out there, and we'll see what happens. If I have to play I'll definitely be ready. You get knocked down; you get back up. That's my motto."

That's a good motto to have for any quarterback playing behind the Bears' offensive line.

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