Cutler would have been limited in practice

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Although the Chicago Bears returned to work on Wednesday to begin preparations for their next game against the Carolina Panthers, the club did not hold an official practice. Instead, the Bears spent the bulk of the day in meetings and hit the field for only a voluntary walk through later in the day.

However, NFL rules stipulate that teams playing on Sunday must release an injury report on Wednesday.

If the Bears had conducted a full practice, quarterback Jay Cutler would have been limited with a rib injury he suffered when he was sacked by Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh on Monday night. Cutler said on Wednesday that he was sore but continued to maintain that he will start Sunday.

Special teams standout Sherrick McManis would have practiced without restrictions after he sat out the Lions game because of a hip strain.

The Bears officially ruled out rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery of the Panthers game due a fractured right hand. Bears coach Lovie Smith said Jeffery is making progress but still could be out awhile.

Meanwhile, the Panthers placed linebacker Jon Beason on injured reserve on Wednesday with a knee injury.