Cutler's ankle cast is called precautionary

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears fitted quarterback Jay Cutler with a hard cast on his injured left ankle, which he was spotted wearing on Wednesday, but coach Marc Trestman insists the cast was simply applied to provide stabilization.

“The doctors and the trainers talked about just making sure that it’s stabilized,” Trestman said Thursday. “It wasn’t swollen after the game [on Sunday]. It was swollen certainly on Monday, and they just wanted to make sure it was stabilized. That’s really the only thing I know about it at this time. It is a hard cast.”

While a hard cast suggests Cutler’s injury might be more significant than a mild high-ankle sprain, doctors and athletic trainers commonly use immobilization to ensure the injured joint doesn’t move at all, which promotes faster healing. Players can put on and take off a walking boot, making it not so strict an immobilizer as a hard cast.

In other injury news, tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle) didn’t participate in Thursday’s practice inside the Walter Payton Center, but Trestman said the team is “hopeful that a day off the ankle will give him a little relief, and he’ll be back at it.” Long-snapper Patrick Mannelly (calf) also missed practice, and is considered week-to-week in his recovery.

Trestman said that defensive end Shea McClellin (hamstring) “worked with trainers today” and that defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff “worked on the side, but not in the practice.” Rookie right tackle Jordan Mills took limited repetitions during Thursday’s session due to “a little bit of a quad.” Ratliff isn't expected to play this week, and it's unclear whether McClellin will recover enough to be able to contribute in Sunday's game. Mills isn't expected to miss time.

As for Cutler, the quarterback remains “week to week,” according to Trestman. But Cutler has spent his days of inactivity working with Josh McCown and Trestman to ensure the backup quarterback plays at his best Sunday when the Bears host the Baltimore Ravens.

“He’s in every meeting,” offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said. “He comes to the extra protection meetings to make sure he knows who we’re picking up in blitzes. He’s at every quarterback meeting. He’s in practice. He’s helping Josh. You saw him on the sideline in Green Bay. He’s helping coach. He’s not missing a rep, other than physical.”