The status of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler going into the weekend remains uncertain because of his concussion, although coach Lovie Smith said Friday he is optimistic about Cutler's return.
Cutler, who missed Monday night's 32-7 loss to the 49ers, is listed as questionable against the Minnesota Vikings. Whether he plays in Sunday's game at Soldier Field hinges on passing a test from an independent neurologist Saturday.
It's possible Cutler's injury report status could change before the game.
"He's looking better," Smith said of Cutler after Friday's practice. "The last phase of his evaluation will be tomorrow, and then we'll be able to let you know from there."
Cutler went through a second straight limited practice session Friday. He hasn't had a full practice this week. Backup Jason Campbell, who has a rib injury, went through his first full practice Friday.
Cutler's play impressed his teammates.
"He looked good," running back Matt Forte said. "He should play, I think."
Regardless of which quarterback plays, he'll be protected by a completely revamped offensive line. The Bears gave up six sacks against San Francisco, including 5½ to Aldon Smith, and it led to second-year right tackle Gabe Carimi getting benched. He'll be replaced by Jonathan Scott, who played previously for Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Detroit.
The Bears spent a first-round draft pick in 2011 on Carimi, and last week's game was his 12th NFL start. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 2 last year and had two surgeries.
Bears optimistic on Cutler's return
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