As first reported by NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been cleared by an independent neurologist and is expected to start Sunday vs the Minnesota Vikings.
Jay Cutler passing all concussion protocols, will start Sunday for the Bears against the Vikings.
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) November 24, 2012
Cutler returned to practice this week but had not received clearance from an independent source as mandated by the NFL’s new concussion protocols.
Cutler suffered a concussion late in the first half of the Bears’ Week 10 game against the Houston Texans and missed the second half of that game and last week’s trip to San Francisco for a Monday Night Football matchup with the 49ers. The Bears lost both games and have only mustered 13 points in their last two games with Jason Campbell steering the ship.
Cutler had best be at 110% because the Bears offensive line is in turmoil following the demotion of right tackle Gabe Carimi and the sudden departure of Chilo Rachal. 40% of the Bears offensive line will be replaced to take on Jared Allen and the Vikings.
On the Minnesota side, Percy Harvin was downgraded to OUT and will not travel with the team to Chicago. That’s another big break for the Bears, as Harvin comprised most of their passing game. Now the Bears can focus on stopping Adrian Peterson to stymie the Vikings attack and end their two game skid to keep themselves in contention for the NFC North title.