Team sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen that Cutler could play some Sunday, especially if veteran Jake Plummer struggles in Cleveland.
That doesn't mean Cutler would take over the job right away, the sources said. A tentative plan would give Plummer a chance to prove he can lead the Broncos to victories in the next two games against the Colts and Steelers. If Plummer can't do it, a source said Shanahan will strongly reconsider his plan and could turn to Cutler.
"The reasoning," a source said, "is that if Plummer can't beat the Colts and Steelers in mid-season, he probably won't beat them in [the playoffs]."
Shanahan earlier this week claimed the Broncos' struggles on offense were not all Plummer's fault. He cited the fact the Broncos are playing with four new receivers and two new tight ends.
Plummer has completed just 53 percent of his passes (68 for 128)
with three touchdowns and five interceptions so far in 2006.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.