Bears quarterback Jay Cutler threw a few passes during practice on Wednesday, but Brian Hoyer still is in line to start Sunday against the Jaguars.
Cutler’s throws came during the portion of practice open to the media, but he officially didn’t participate. He was in street clothes.
Cutler, though, wasn’t wearing a brace for his sprained right thumb. He had one on during the Bears’ loss against the Colts Sunday in Indianapolis.
“Time heals, and he is improving,” Fox said. “But he’s not been cleared at this point.”
Fox is just fine with starting Hoyer, who is the first quarterback in team history to throw for more than 300 yards without an interception in three consecutive games.
Hoyer’s inability to connect with receiver Alshon Jeffery stands out, though. It included missing Jeffery when he was open on the Bears’ last play in their loss against the Colts. Jeffery was visibly frustrated after the missed play.
In Hoyer’s three starts, Jeffery has been targeted only 18 times. Second-year receiver Cameron Meredith was targeted 12 times in Indianapolis.
“I’m just trying to go through where I’m coached,” Hoyer said. “A lot of times, Alshon’s a big target, so people are trying to take him away and that’s why other people get the ball. If they don’t take him away, we hit some big plays to him. That’s just the way it works out. You’re not going to get every one. That’s just the nature of the game.”
Cutler is one of nine notable players who didn’t practice. Defensive tackle Eddie Goldman (high-ankle sprain), running back Jeremy Langford (high-ankle sprain), receiver Eddie Royal (calf), left guard Josh Sitton (shoulder), cornerback Tracy Porter (knee), tight end Zach Miller (ribs), cornerback Bryce Callahan (hamstring) and rookie cornerback Deiondre’ Hall (ankle) didn’t practice.
The following players were limited: Jeffery (hamstring), outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (calf), linebacker Jerrell Freeman (wrist), outside linebacker Willie Young (knee/elbow), running back Ka’Deem Carey (hamstring), outside linebacker Sam Acho (ribs) and defensive lineman Will Sutton (chest).
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio can always be counted for some insight. On Wednesday, it included him saying that he didn’t spend much time evaluating rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who was drafted fifth overall by the Jaguars.
“Because where we were picking, they said he’d be long gone,” Fangio said of the former Florida State star. “And they said, if he’s there, we’re picking him. So they didn’t need my input.”