Jay Cutler to sit in Cleveland

CLEVELAND -- Rather than risk potential injury, the Bears exercised caution in making a decision to hold out starting quarterback Jay Cutler for the preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns.

The club has also ruled out backup quarterback Caleb Hanie for the exhibition finale as well. Hanie begain throwing passes earlier this week after missing time with a shoulder injury suffered in the preseason opener.

Having already taken 10 sacks in three pedestrian outings this preseason, Cutler said earlier in the week he didn't expect to see much action against the Browns. Surely, he didn't expect to be held out completely.

New acquisition Todd Collins, who has taken the majority of the practice repetitions this week, will start in Cutler's place. He'll enter the contest Thursday -- his first since joining the team last week -- having not thrown a pass in live action in 255 days.

Cutler, meanwhile, finished his preseason with only one touchdown pass and a 62.4 rating in leading the Bears to a 31.3 percent conversion rate on third downs in 16 possessions.

Starters typically play only one series in the preseason finale. But it's likely Collins will see extensive playing time as the club looks to get one last long look at some of the players on the bubble before making a final determination on the 53-man roster, which has to be made by Saturday.

Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com