UPDATE (1:54 p.m. ET): Bears head coach Marc Trestman announced Thursday that Cutler has been cleared to play and is expected to start against the Lions on Sunday.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler participated in practice Thursday for the first time since he suffered a groin injury against the Washington Redskins. The team announced Cutler participated in an open portion of practice viewed by media members.
Cutler's ability to practice is the surest sign he will play on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, which was reported earlier this week. Initially it was unclear whether he would be ready, and timetables fluctuated, potentially extending his recovery to Week 12.
Sunday's game is of vital importance for the Bears' ability to remain atop the NFC North. They are currently engaged in the three-way tie, and the Green Bay Packers are preparing for life without Aaron Rodgers. Chicago defeated the Packers on Monday Night Football, but greatly benefited from facing backup Seneca Wallace.
If Cutler is able to play Sunday, it stands to make the divisional matchup between the Bears and Lions the game to watch this weekend.