Cutler out of hard cast; still week-to-week

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is no longer wearing a hard cast on his lower left leg to stabilize the high ankle sprain he suffered versus the Detroit Lions on Nov. 10.

Cutler arrived at Wednesday's practice inside the Walter Payton Center with a standard football cleat on his left foot, and not the hard cast and walking boot he was required to wear last week to move around the facility.

“He had a very small brace on,” Bears head coach Marc Trestman said. “He’s the got the sprain, but there is stability there (in the ankle). There is enough stability where they could take the (hard cast) off. Again, it’s day-to-day and I’m optimistic that it will stay that way, but we’ll have to see.”

Trestman refused to speculate whether Cutler would be medically cleared to start versus the Minnesota Vikings on December 1. Veteran Josh McCown will make his third start of the season at quarterback for the Bears when the club travels to face the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

“I’m just going to stay on a week-to-week (timetable) right now,” Trestman said. “I’m really not the doctor. They tell me it’s week-to-week. I try not to put myself in a position where I get overly optimistic about these things. I just take them as they come. I look at it being week-to-week right now and we’ll see where he is on Monday.”

Cutler revealed Monday on ESPN 1000’s “The Jay Cutler Show” that he originally targeted a Dec. 1 return date immediately after he suffered the high-ankle sprain, but that was before team doctors detected potentially more serious damage that could keep the quarterback off-the-field longer than expected.

"We're taking the cast off periodically, just kind of checking to see where I'm at,” Cutler said. “We'll see again later this week, then early next week where it's at.

"There are a couple of ligaments that we're a little worried about that's different than the normal high ankle sprain," he said. "There are a few other things involved. If I just had a normal high ankle sprain, I wouldn't be in a cast. [A cast] helps it scar up and stuff, but the normal high ankle sprain isn't really a concern at this point."