Jay Cutler has been cleared to practice fully on Wednesday after suffering a concussion and missing last week's game against the Carolina Panthers, the NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reported on Tuesday. Barring a setback, he will start against Seattle.
Also, Caleb Hanie's brief appearance against the Panthers coupled with a horrid outing by veteran Todd Collins provided sufficient evidence for another change to be made on the Bears' quarterback depth chart.
According to multiple NFL sources, Collins will be demoted after he threw four interceptions and finished with a 6.2 passer rating. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Collins became just the fifth quarterback since 1990 to throw four interceptions and no touchdowns in a game with his team still managing to pull out a victory.
Hanie will be the No. 2 quarterback when the Bears return to the practice field Wednesday, according to the sources.
The easy play for the Bears would be to simply reorder the depth chart and keep Collins on the roster. But it's worth mentioning the club expressed a strong desire during training camp to keep just two quarterbacks on the roster because of the flexibility it provided at other positions.
If the organization still feels that way, it might be pondering whether to release Collins, 38, to make room for bolstering depth elsewhere.
Then again, the team changed its stance on roster numbers at quarterback when Hanie suffered an injury in the preseason opener at San Diego, which is what originally prompted the Bears to bring in Collins. Cutler's recent concussion may have reinforced that philosophy as well.
Cutler had never missed a game because of an injury in his five-year NFL career prior to the Bears' 23-6 win Sunday at Carolina.
Should the team decide to release Collins, it will have essentially thrown away $1 million, because as a vested veteran who was on the roster at the start of the season, he can collect the balance of his base salary as termination pay, even if he later signs with another team.
Information from ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson and Michael C. Wright contributed to this report.