Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (ankle) has been cleared by the Bears' medical staff to practice at full speed, and is expected to do so Wednesday at Halas Hall. If all goes well in the workout as the Bears seem to assume will be the case, Cutler will start on Sunday in the team's must-win game against the Cleveland Browns:




Bears weak-side linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder), however, is likely to miss his seventh straight game:

(Side Note: Give Rich Campbell a follow on Twitter if you haven't already. He and Dan Wiederer have been fantastic Bears/NFL hires by the Chicago Tribune)


Many observers think the Bears should just leave Josh McCown in the starting role even if Cutler is healthy, as McCown is putting up insane numbers with insane efficiency. The 34-year-old McCown's most recent start resulted in a 27-36/348 YDS/4 TD/0 INT/141.9 QB Rating stat line, with the offensive scoring on every single possession (for a total of 45 points). Should they make a change at the position while McCown has the offense rolling?

Well, Marc Trestman has made it clear that when Cutler is healthy, Cutler will go back to being the starter. My opinion is simply this: Putting the Cutler/McCown debate aside, do not start Cutler if he is not 100% (100%-ish, as few players are truly ever 100% healthy). I'm quite confident in the Bears offense with either of these guys, at quarterback, provided they are healthy.

The Cutler/McCown situation at quarterback for the rest of this season is not my concern: It's all the defense.

And never could a defense use Briggs more than the Bears' abysmal defense could right now. Missed tackles left and right, playing historically bad against the run, two rookie linebackers in Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene playing undisciplined and simply looking lost at times,... we could go on about the reasons the Bears could use Briggs for hours, really.

But, it's sounding like the seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker will miss his seventh straight game, and at this point, it's fair to wonder if he'll play at all in the remainder of the 2013 season.

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