Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler did not practice on Thursday. Thursday being the day that the Chicago Bears took to the practice field to begin their implementation of their gameplan for their game against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night. Thursday is also the day when offensive players take to the podium when the Bears’ have a Monday Night game. That did not happen on Thursday. Instead, the Bears opted to go with defensive players as both linebacker Brian Urlacher and defensive tackle Henry Melton addressed the media. Both Urlacher and Melton were asked about Cutler, and they both indicated that Cutler was feeling good. Though, lets be honest, was anyone really expecting them to say something else.
Bears’ head coach Lovie Smith addressed the media on Thursday to provide yet another update on Cutler. Though, this update is very similar to the one that we heard on Wednesday as well as Monday.
“(Cutler) is feeling better, and it normally goes like that,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “You get better each day with an injury, with just how you’re feeling. That’s why you’re optimistic, and you have to take it each day. We’re hopeful (Friday) that he’ll be better than he is today.”
Asked if Cutler can play Monday if he does not practice, Smith said: “As a general rule, we would like for guys to (practice) at least by Friday; get some type of practice work in. But for some of our guys that have been around a while, if we get to game day and they haven’t practiced and they feel like they can go, they’ll play.” ESPN Chicago
Friday would seemingly be the last day that the Bears will have an opportunity to offer an update on their starting quarterback. With teams operating under a code of secrecy, the Bears do not have to rule Cutler out for Monday’s game until the minutes leading up to the game on Monday. To be honest, that may be the best strategy for the Bears. Because that would present a difficult task for the 49ers as they will have to prepare to see Jason Campbell take the field for the Bears on Monday as the team’s starting quarterback, but also not rule out the possibility of Cutler taking the field. While it is entirely possible that Cutler can start the game on Monday without participating in practice, if the quarterback misses practice on Friday, that may be yet another sign that the quarterback will not be ready for Monday’s game against the 49ers. Offensive players will likely address the media on Friday, though it’s highly unlikely that Cutler will be among them. Smith also did not speculate on whether or not Cutler will practice on Friday.
Meanwhile, for the 49ers, starting quarterback Alex Smith went through his second day of practice on Thursday without any residing symptoms from the concussion he suffered on Sunday. That is a strong indicator that Smith will be the starting quarterback for the 49ers on Monday.