LAKE FOREST — Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will start Sunday against the Detroit Lions, less than three weeks after tearing his groin in Washington.
Cutler returned to practice on Thursday, and afterward head coach Marc Trestman said Cutler was cleared by doctors to play.
"He had an excellent practice. He moved around, we worked the entire game plan today: our movements, climbing the pocket, throwing the football, down the field, short throws, everything. He did everything today," Trestman said.
In the portion of practice open to the media, Cutler took part in stretching and then throwing drills with Josh McCown and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh.
"If he couldn't do everything a quarterback can do on an NFL Sunday, he wouldn't be out there," Trestman said.
"If I wasn’t back to 100 percent or they had any doubts in it, I wouldn’t have been practicing today," Cutler said. "That was the stipulation. They were going to let Josh have another crack at it and I was going to have to sit this one out."
Originally, the prognosis was that Cutler would be out at least four weeks, but Trestman credited his rehab and athleticism in returning so soon.
"Jay took it upon himself, like I said, literally 24-7, doing everything he could to rehab," he said. "Jay is unique, regarding he really understands his body, he really understands how to take care of himself. And he’s a unique athlete, and I’m sure some of that came into effect.
"But it was an incredible amount of hard work went into it, that he put in just to get a chance to get to this point. We’re excited about it. It says a lot about his commitment to the team. He came in this morning, did a few other things, the doctors said you are good to go."
As for McCown, he is back to the No. 2 quarterback role.
"I had a blast Monday night, and I’ll be ready to go the next time I play," he said. "There’s a part of you that’s bummed because you don’t get to play anymore, but at the same time, the best thing for our team is for Jay Cutler to be our quarterback. So that’s my focus."