Happenings at Halas: Cutler out for Dallas game - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Happenings at Halas: Cutler out for Dallas game

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (FOX 32 News) -

As the Bears returned to practice, Jay Cutler joined them, but remained very limited and was quickly ruled out for Monday night's game against Dallas.

"It's been week to week, I was encouraged today by the work he got in, especially considering...the injury wasn't that long ago. We'll see where he is next week," Coach Trestman said.

The Bears continue to handle the situation with great care, staying in clear communication with the starting quarterback.

Cutler knows he has to be cleared to play and that has not happened yet, but no one calling it a set back. And the Bears feel he will return and play effectively in the final games of the regular season.

"From the work he did today, I haven't talked to him about it, but he did what was asked, listened to the trainers but didn't over do it," Trestman said. 

All sounds good, as Josh McCown gets set to start a 3rd straight game for the first time since 2007. The Bears average about six more points a game with Cutler than they do with McCown, but both have been able to put up points. Part of the reason the Bears remain confident they can find a spark and still accomplish their goals.

Lance Briggs did not practice today and remains out. So he won't be able to help the defense that carries a ton of question marks. Though Tony Romo can be the Cowboys most dangerous weapon, Dallas knows where they can attack the Bears- on the ground.

The rush defense is ranked 27th in the league. That reality gives any opponent confidence so Tim Jennings told us that has to be the focus. Fix it fast before dropping a third straight game and all but eliminating any post season hope.

But slowing Dallas' high scoring offense ( 3rd highest in the NFL), starts with getting pressure on Romo. Defensive Coordinator Mel Tucker believes the front will again get a boost giving Jeremiah Ratliff more playing time.

The former Dallas pro-bowler got 23 snaps on Sunday- his first playing time since November of 2011.

"He's a real pro, and brings a great toughness to our front both mental and physical," said Tucker.

Ratliff has said facing his former team is just another game, he's just grateful to be competing again. Though he carries a tough guy image, Ratliff says he's a nice guy, it just doesn't help him to be nice on the field.

Isn't that true. Especially in a game the Bears simply can't afford to lose.

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