Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler participated in Thursday’s practice, and coach Marc Trestman said Cutler has been medically cleared to play and expects him to start Sunday vs. Detroit.
"He's cleared to play so he's going to play," Trestman said.
Trestman said Cutler had an "excellent" practice, the latest step in his recovery from the torn left groin muscle he suffered on Oct. 20. Trestman said Cutler took all the snaps during practice and "did everything."
Trestman said Cutler worked "24/7" on his rehab, and his rapid comeback from what was expected to be at least a four-week absence is exactly what was predicted by Bears receiver Brandon Marshall.
"There was a critical amount of hard work and effort he put in," Trestman said. "It says a lot about his commitment to the team."
Cutler said of his rehab, "We stayed on it. We did a lot of soft-tisue work. ... We threw a lot at it."
Cutler tipped his cap to backup Josh McCown, saying, "He did an unbelievable job. If you ask the guys in the locker room, no one is really surprised."
Asked whether Cutler would be at all limited in what he could do, Trestman said, "If he couldn't do everything, he wouldn't be out there. We would never put him out there if he was not cleared."
Cutler concurred: "If I wasn't 100 percent ... I wouldn't have been practicing today."
As for preparing for Ndamukong Suh and the Lions' pass rush, Cutler said, "Once you get in the game, it's reactionary stuff. We tried to mimic that. I feel ready."
Cutler was the first quarterback in line for each positional drill, a spot normally reserved for him as the starting quarterback.
During the passing drills that were open to the media, the mechanics of Cutler’s right (plant) leg were noticeably different from how they were before the injury. On Thursday, he often brought his right foot off the ground higher than usual when following through.
A quarterback with significant core strength typically drags his back foot. That steadies his body, and he can afford to do so because his core muscles generate sufficient strength. McCown, for example, dragged his throughout passing drills Thursday.
Cutler climbed the pocket and moved laterally during passing drills.