Well, this was a bummer. There was brief swell of optimism earlier in the day, as various reports surfaced that both Jay Cutler and Lance Briggs had returned to the practice field. Did that mean a potential return for both players for Monday night’s showdown against the Cowboys?
Marc Trestman officially ruled both players out at his post-practice press conference, while leaving the door open for Cutler and Briggs to return at some point this season. Josh McCown, who received starter’s reps in practice, will start for the Bears at quarterback, while presumably rookie fourth-rounder Khaseeme Greene will continue to get work at linebacker in place of Briggs. In other injury related news, the Tribune’s Brad Biggs notes that Brandon Marshall did not participate at practice due to a quad injury, while Major Wright participated in limited fashion. (I’m not too concerned about the Marshall injury just yet.)
This isn’t entirely unexpected; earlier in the week Cutler himself said he was “50/50″ to play against Dallas. Josh McCown has certainly played good football, and the Cowboys defense is a far cry from the Steel Curtain. It just would have been nice for the Bears to get closer to full-strength on both sides of the ball as they open their crucial four-game closing stretch.