Cutler eager to return for Bears
Injured quarterback Jay Cutler is eager to get back on the field after missing three straight games with a high ankle sprain, but a decision won't be made until late in the week at the earliest.
Cutler has yet to practice at all, and coach Marc Trestman said he's still "week to week."
"He's progressing. We'll see how he is Thursday," Trestman said. "I'm not sure where we are right now. He visited the doctor (Monday), and we'll know more Thursday or Friday. But it'll start with some limited work and see how he moves around, and we'll take it from there."
Cutler missed Game 8 vs. the Green Bay Packers and returned the next week but suffered the ankle injury. He appears doubtful for Monday night's home game against the Dallas Cowboys.
"I still feel like I'm going to get back here relatively soon," Cutler said on his weekly radio show on ESPN 1000-AM. "But we've got to talk to the doctors. I want to play. There's no doubt about it. It's just the trainers and the doctors and going through the scenario we have to go through."
Help on the way:
Jeremiah Ratliff played 23 snaps in his Bears debut and showed potential for fortifying a run defense that has allowed 504 yards the past two weeks and is the worst in the NFL.
"I thought he played well," coach Marc Trestman said. "I heard him come off a couple of times and say, 'Let me stay in my rhythm.' He felt he was mixing it up in there. So we felt pretty good that he'll be able to play much longer this week."
On Monday night Ratliff faces the team that cut him earlier in the season after he made four Pro Bowls, but he said it's not a huge deal.
"It's just another game," Ratliff said. "It's just football. I don't get caught up in all that silly rivalry stuff or some payback. The thing is we're here to win, and we're going to give every effort to do that."
Linebacker Lance Briggs is still "week to week" after missing five games with a fractured shoulder and has not yet returned to practice. "It's healing. He's progressing," Marc Trestman said. "We'll see how he is on Thursday."
Trestman hopes to get safety Major Wright (hamstring) back after a one-game absence, along with safety Anthony Walters (groin). Guard Kyle Long suffered a sprained ankle early in Sunday's game but played through it.
Keeping it light:
Special-teams veterans Robbie Gould and Patrick Mannelly still have their senses of humor.
Gould was describing his newborn baby boy as "tall and skinny, just like his dad."
Said Mannelly: "Or how about just skinny?"