Mike Ditka will have his No. 89 retired by the Bears at halftime Monday night.
As a larger-than-life celebrity, a Hall of Fame tight end and the only head coach who's ever led the team to a Super Bowl, he's said in the past that he could understand why his successors wouldn't want him around.
Contact information ( * required )
But that's not how Marc Trestman feels. He contacted Ditka soon after being named the 14th head coach in franchise history in January.
"I said, 'It'd be a privilege to get to meet you,'" Trestman told Ditka. "One thing we want to do here is stay connected to our alumni and to reach out more as we move along. What better way than to start than with coach Ditka? I'm appreciative we were able to stay connected through the season."
Ditka addressed the team in the off-season, and Trestman has been in contact with him periodically throughout the season.
"He's been very supportive," Trestman said. "I wanted him to know that I was excited about the ceremony he'll have on Monday night and that I probably wouldn't be able to see him much because we'll be busy, but I wanted to take the time to congratulate him on that.
"I'm hopeful and I believe that our team will come out and play with the kind of passion and love for the game that he did as a player and a coach."
Jay Cutler took Friday off but had no residual effects after practicing the previous two days, although he is still out for Monday night.
His status for next Sunday against the Browns is uncertain.
"It's week-to-week," coach Marc Trestman said. "He did very well this week in the first part of this getting-back-into-it type of thing. There was no soreness or anything like that, which is good, and he worked at it pretty hard (Friday). We can be optimistic, but we can't be definitive right now."
Cutler will be re-evaluated Monday and his status reassessed the following day.
Major Wright will return to the starting lineup after missing one game with a hamstring injury, despite the fact that his replacement, Craig Steltz, had a game-high 12 tackles last week. Steltz is tied for the team lead with 9 solo special teams tackles on the season.
"Craig is such a big part of our special teams," coach Marc Trestman said. "We lost him last week with special teams. Major will start in the back end, and Craig will be ready to go, but we need him on a number of special teams, and we'll get him back for that and that will be good."
Linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) did not practice and will not play Monday night. He seems doubtful at best for next Sunday's game against the Browns.
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall (quadriceps), safety Major Wright (hamstring) and guard Kyle Long all had full participation and are probable. Safety Anthony Walters (groin) was limited and is questionable.
For the Cowboys, starting cornerback Morris Claiborne (hamstring) did not practice and is out. Wide receiver Dwayne Harris (hamstring), who is second in the NFL with a 14.0-yard punt-return average and in kickoff returns with a 31.3-yard average, was limited and is questionable.