The Sports Xchange
NFL Team Report - Chicago Bears - INSIDE SLANT
Trestman said quarterback Jay Cutler was scheduled to go through a workout for evaluation late Wednesday afternoon and his ability to handle the work and avoid any further problem with his ankle sprain will determine if he returns to the starting lineup in place of Josh McCown.
"He's been cleared from a standpoint of allowing us to work him out at full speed, and allowing him to make a decision and us to make a decision based on how he works out and how he feels after he works out," Trestman said.
Cutler went out with the high ankle sprain Nov. 10 against the Detroit Lions during a game in which he was coming back from a torn muscle tear. McCown made four straight starts while Cutler recovered from the ankle sprain, and the Bears beat Baltimore and Dallas in home games but lost to Minnesota and St. Louis on the road. McCown also won a start at Green Bay earlier in the season when Cutler had the torn groin muscle.
Trestman said he is optimistic about Cutler's return.
"But I've got to leave it open because we're working him out today and so I feel like, today, as long as we see, and he feels good, I anticipate that we'll be moving forward tomorrow," Trestman said.
McCown has been so effective starting that he ranks third in the NFL in passer rating at 109.8, beind only Nick Foles and Peyton Manning. He has 13 touchdown passes and one interception to 13 touchdown passes and eight interceptions for Cutler, who owns an 88.4 rating and has 45 more throws than McCown (220).
Cutler will have the benefit of waiting until Thursday before he starts putting a lot of pressure on the ankle because the Bears canceled their regular Wednesday practice due to playing this past Monday night.
"I anticipate the workout will be a good one," Trestman said. "We have the extra day. I want to make that clear: we have the extra day. I just want to make sure we're giving ourselves all the time necessary.
"We don't have to make a decision today so we're not going to. But tomorrow we will, because we have to."
Cutler's workout was to include throwing to receivers and some simulation of what he'd have to do in a game.
"We'll work him through drops. We'll redirect him in the pocket, move him up and down, and try to get as much suddenness as we can," Trestman said.
Cutler did practice on a limited basis twice last week.
"We saw it last week but, again, he's been off for three or four days now, so we want to see him do it again and make sure that he feels good and we feel good," Trestman added.
The Bears are less optimistic about linebacker Lance Briggs returning. He has been out since Oct. 20 with a broken shoulder.
"I didn't see enough from Lance last week," Trestman said. "All he did was run, so we'll see where the trainers and the doctors want him to be tomorrow.
"I'm not in any way as optimistic about Lance as I would be about Jay at this time because I've seen Jay move around and do the things that he did last week."