To me, Thursday was the big day in terms of guessing whether or not Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler would start Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers. If he wasn't cleared to practice four days after suffering a concussion, his third in the NFL, it was fair to assume the injury wasn't as mild as the one that, say, allowed 49ers quarterback Alex Smith to resume practicing Thursday.
Bears coach Lovie Smith didn't rule out the possibility that Cutler could be cleared to practice as early as Friday, and that could well be the case. But as Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com writes, it's appearing more likely that Cutler will miss the game.
Asked if Cutler could play Monday night if he doesn't practice Friday, coach Lovie 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."
Again, I'm going to guess that policy wouldn't apply to a player recovering from his third concussion and second in three years. Stay tuned.