Jay Cutler returned to Bears practice Wednesday, only 10 days after straining his hamstring against the Cardinals.
The Bears quarterback participated in drills Wednesday and categorized as limited, coach John Fox said. He missed Sunday’s game in Seattle; backup Jimmy Clausen started and completed 9-of-17 passes for only 63 yards. Cutler had a “good practice,” Fox said.
“Like most teams in the league — (the Packers) would look different if Aaron Rodgers isn’t in, or any starting quarterback, there’s a reason they’re the starter,” Fox said. “We’re a little more confident and have a little more experience doing it.”
Whether Cutler will play Sunday against the Raiders is far from certain, but his return to practice Wednesday is, undoubtedly, a positive sign in a 0-3 season that could use one.
“We’re going to prepare for the football team,” Raiders coach Jack del Rio said Wednesday. “Lot of good football players on the team. And knowing that they have a really talented quarterback that is likely to be back, and if he’s not, then we’ll be prepared for the backups.”
There was more good news Wednesday. Receiver Alshon Jeffery, who’s missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, was limited. He had not practiced in front of media the past two weeks.
Defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff, who suffered an ankle injury before serving the three-game suspension that ended Monday, was limited, as was Ego Ferguson (knee). So was Will Sutton, whose left arm was in a sling Sunday after suffering an elbow injury.
Bears that did not participate were tackle Jermon Bushrod (concussion/shoulder) and punter Pat O’Donnell (right knee). Special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers didn’t sound concerned about O’Donnell’s injury, but said the team has a list of veterans punters to call in case it needs one Sunday.
“I certainly don’t expect (guard) Matt Slauson to punt for us this week,” he joked.
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