Bears QB Jay Cutler is on the mend

Updated: October 11, 2010, 4:58 PM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith said the team will wait until later in the week to determine the status of quarterback Jay Cutler, who sat out Sunday's 23-6 win over the Carolina Panthers after suffering a concussion the previous week.

The Bears host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, and they're hoping Cutler -- who was sacked nine times by the New York Giants on Oct. 3 -- will be ready.

"We'll continue to evaluate Jay Cutler," Smith said Monday. "Hopefully, Jay will be able to go this week.

"He hasn't had any setbacks. ... He's doing better. Wednesday we'll be able to tell you a little more."

Cutler did get some work in during practices last week.

"I think [Cutler is] doing good," said Bears tight end -- and Cutler's best friend on the team -- Greg Olsen. "I think he felt good towards the end of the week and was able to get some practice in and some workouts.

"I think he's feeling pretty good. I'm sure he feels good about it [playing against Seattle]. I'm not the doctor, I don't make those decisions, but I'm sure Jay feels confident, as every player does, that they're going to be back as soon as possible."

Veteran backup Todd Collins struggled in his attempt to replace Cutler, throwing four interceptions and posting a quarterback rating of 6.2 before being replaced by Caleb Hanie. Although many expect Hanie to be elevated past Collins on the Bears' depth chart, Smith was not ready to announce the move Monday.

"There is no quarterback controversy or anything like that," Smith said. "Todd didn't play as well as he needed to finishing the game and I liked what Caleb Hanie was able to do coming in.

"We'll just continue to watch video, look at the group and see who gives us the best chance to win. We haven't changed anything right now. The same way we went into the game is where everybody is listed right now. We haven't made any of those types of decisions."

Meantime, weakside linebacker Lance Briggs left the Panthers game with a left ankle injury and will be monitored throughout the week. Briggs was slowed by a right ankle injury during the preseason.

"Lance is good player, he's consistently made plays," Bears safety Chris Harris said. "It would hurt, but I think we have very capable guys behind him in Brian Iwuh and Nick Roach, they can play pretty good football. If Lance does have to miss time, I don't think it'll be a huge letdown."

"If we had to play without him, of course, it would be a big blow," Smith said. "Brian Iwuh is a good football player. He came in yesterday and did some good things."

The Bears also hope to have the services of left tackle Chris Williams Sunday against the Seahawks. Williams has missed the last three games after suffering a hamstring injury Week 2 in Dallas.

Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.