Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith told reporters on Wednesday that quarterback Jay Cutler has been cleared to practice. According to the team, he will be limited in practice and still has to be cleared by an independent neurologist before he can play in a game. That's the final hurdle in the NFL's updated concussion policy, and Cutler still has to pass that examination in order to play in Week 12 against the Minnesota Vikings.
Cutler took a nasty hit from Houston Texans linebacker Tim Dobbins as he scrambled at the end of the first half in Week 10. He was ruled out for the second half of the Texans game, and ruled out early last weekend for Monday night's game against the 49ers. The Bears offense has suffered significantly while he's been out, with Jason Campbell failing to get any traction and put together scoring drives. They have scored just one touchdown in six quarters without Cutler, and have dropped both games in frustrating fashion.
The Bears are now tied for first place in the NFC North with the Packers, and the Vikings, who visit this week, are just one game back.