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Friday, November 23, 2012
Jay Cutler to see doctor Saturday

By Michael C. Wright
ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith said Friday "it's looking good" for Jay Cutler in his recovery from a concussion, but the quarterback's status for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings remains in question because he has yet to pass an evaluation by an independent neurologist needed in order to play.

Cutler will undergo that evaluation Saturday, according to Smith, and at that point a decision will be made regarding whether the quarterback will face the Vikings.

Cutler practiced in a limited capacity Friday but hasn't been cleared to participate fully.

"He has progressed as we wanted him to do," Smith said. "As I've said, it's looking good. One more step to get him evaluated by an independent neurologist. Jay Cutler is getting better, was able to do more than he did yesterday."

Also, rookie defensive end Shea McClellin, who like Cutler suffered a concussion Nov. 11, has been cleared to play, Smith said.

The Bears officially listed Cutler as questionable to play along with tight end Kellen Davis (ankle), who participated Friday in a limited capacity.

Cutler returned to the practice field Thursday and worked in a limited capacity for the first time since suffering a concussion late in the first half of the Nov. 11 loss to the Houston Texans. The quarterback didn't travel with the team when it fell 32-7 at San Francisco on Monday night.

With the Bears set to replace right tackle Gabe Carimi with Jonathan Scott and left guard Chilo Rachal with Chris Spencer, Smith feels no trepidation about Cutler playing behind a revamped offensive line as long as the quarterback is healthy.

"If a player is injured, we won't play them," Smith said. "But if they're ready to go, of course (we will). We're trying to win football games and they want to play."

In addition to Cutler and Davis, the official injury report included McClellin as probable, along with linebacker Lance Briggs (thumb), quarterback Jason Campbell (ribs), guard Lance Louis (ankle), receiver Brandon Marshall (shoulder), defensive tackles Stephen Paea (shoulder) and Matt Toeaina (calf), and defensive end Julius Peppers (thigh).