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updated: 11/7/2013 11:46 AM

Doctors hold key to whether or not Cutler can play

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  • Josh McCown (12) talks to Jay Cutler during the first half of the Bears' victory over Green Bay on Monday. Cutler hopes to play Sunday against the Lions, but doctors must clear him to play. "There is no gray area in this decision," said Bears coach Marc Trestman.

      Josh McCown (12) talks to Jay Cutler during the first half of the Bears' victory over Green Bay on Monday. Cutler hopes to play Sunday against the Lions, but doctors must clear him to play. "There is no gray area in this decision," said Bears coach Marc Trestman.
    Associated Press

  • Video: LeGere & Arkush analysis

  • Video: Brandon Marshall on Bears QBs

 
 

Injured quarterback Jay Cutler hasn't been ruled out for Sunday, either by Bears coach Marc Trestman or wide receiver Brandon "Dr." Marshall.

But actual team doctors will make the final determination on Cutler's availability, and if they use the criteria detailed by Trestman, the quarterback appears doubtful.

"Part of that determination will be by working him out and making sure he can move suddenly and redirect himself and stride and run full out," Trestman said.

Cutler has yet to practice at all since he suffered torn groin muscles on Oct. 20. The Bears did not practice Wednesday because they played Monday night. If they had, Cutler would have been listed as "limited."

"'Limited,' means we would just see how he was doing," Trestman said. "We'll see where he's at (today)."

The injury was originally expected to keep Cutler sidelined for at least four weeks which, best-case scenario, would be the Ravens game a week from Sunday.

Marshall has been optimistic about Cutler's return from the beginning. He has predicted all along that Cutler would be back for the Lions.

"The prediction was right," Marshall said. "I look like a genius right now. On a serious note, Jay's on the right track. I think he's going to try it this week. If he can go, he'll go. If he can't, I think he's going to make a very hard decision to rest it a little bit more. But he's definitely put himself in position to make it out there for Sunday."

How much, or if, Cutler works Thursday won't be determined until just before practice, when he is re-evaluated. Trestman said two full days of practice would be enough to prepare Cutler for the Lions, and the coach's preference is that the starter takes all the practice reps. The quarterback has done some individual work with the training staff.

"He's been running around," Trestman said. "He's been redirecting. He's been climbing (moving up in) the pocket. He's been doing all of that, but we've got to get the doctor's OK. We'll know a little bit more (today).

"We're hopeful, but we've got to be reserved about it as well."

There's no way the Bears will risk having Cutler aggravate the injury by rushing him back into action.

"There is no gray area in this decision," Trestman said. "The doctors are either going to say he can play ... and play at full speed (or not). If he is, then he'll go."

The performance of backup Josh McCown gives the Bears another reason to err on the side of caution with Cutler. In slightly more than six quarters, McCown's passer rating is 100.2, even better than Cutler's 91.7, which would be his career best for a single season.

"He played really well," Trestman said of McCown's performance in Monday night's victory over the Packers that vaulted the 5-3 Bears into a first-place tie with Green Bay and Detroit in the NFC North. "He took care of the football. He was very efficient. He missed some throws, just like a number of guys miss throws, but he did a great job of moving the football."

McCown has yet to throw an interception and has been sacked just twice while throwing for 476 yards and 3 TD passes, including 2 in Green Bay.

"Josh doesn't have a 'C' on his chest, but he's definitely one of our captains, especially from an emotional standpoint, the way he gets guys going," Marshall said. "The way he rallies the guys in practice, the way he prepares, it's contagious, a trickle-down effect.

"He affects our coaching staff, he affects players on offense and defense; he's just that type of guy. I don't think you can ask for a better No. 2 at the position. His play has proved that he can play ball."

• Follow Bob's NFL and Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.

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