LAKE FOREST — Jay Cutler took the first reps in quarterback drills during the portion of Bears practice open to the media on Thursday and will start Sunday against the Browns.
“It’s going to be Jay [starting]. Our plan all along has been to allow him to get healthy," Marc Trestman said. "He was released by the doctors certainly before [Wednesday]. I still wanted to have the opportunity and our staff to work him out vigorously, to burst and move, do sudden footwork, climb the pocket and do those kinds of things.
Since Cutler got hurt, Trestman and the organization have been consistent in saying that when healthy, Cutler would return, despite Josh McCown's success, so he sees no risk in going back to Cutler at this point.
"I don’t think that risk was part of this decision. This decision was made a long time ago. That was that when Jay was ready to play, that he would play," Trestman said. "That’s how we planned to do it, so I don’t look at it like that. I look at it, Jay’s our quarterback, and when he was ready to play, he was going to play, and that’s the same words I used a month ago and there’s no change today."
Trestman said Wednesday that if all went well in a workout, Cutler would be set to return to being the Bears’ starting quarterback.
"He did it very effectively yesterday," Trestman said. "He came up this morning, there were no residual issues, no swelling, nothing there at all. So we practiced him today and he had a very efficient, very good practice."
With that decision, McCown reverts back to his role as the team's No. 2 quarterback, and he's not surprised, despite winning NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance on Monday against Dallas.
"No. I've said all along my role as a backup quarterback on this team: when Jay is healthy, he plays," McCown said. "So it's no surprise. I knew he was getting close so I'm glad he's healthy."
Cutler practiced twice in a limited fashion last week, and will play Sunday for the first time since his high ankle sprain, suffered against the Lions on Nov. 10.
"It is good to be back. A month out is long, long time so it did feel good to get back out there with the guys and get rolling," Cutler said.
As for any rust, Trestman said he is not concerned, and Cutler said there's no time for him to show any rust.
"Yeah, I’m good to go. Rust, we’re kind of knocking it off as we go in practice," he said. "I don’t we really have a lot of room for me to be rusty out there. So we’ve got to hit in running."