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Where: Solider Field
When: 18.00 (GMT)
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Although the Chicago Bears seemed comfortable with a backup quarterback last week, they’ll call on their starter as they try for a second straight victory over a NFC North frontrunner on Sunday.
Looking to build on their latest win, the Bears turn to Jay Cuter against a Detroit Lions team trying to sweep the season series for the first time since 2007.
Coach Marc Trestman confirmed Cutler’s return Thursday following practice, saying doctors have given Cutler the clearance to play. Trestman said Cutler will not be restricted in any way due to the injury.
Cutler suffered the injury in a 45-41 loss at Washington on Oct. 20. The Bears (5-3) had a bye the following week, then Josh McCown started and played all of Monday night’s 27-20 victory at Green Bay.
The win at Lambeau Field moved the Bears into a three-way tie atop the division with the Packers and Detroit (5-3). The Bears understand the emotional victory won’t mean anything unless they can continue to win.
A team that averaged 23.4 points and 310.6 total yards while going 10-6 and missing the playoffs last season, has thrived under Trestman. Chicago is second in the NFL averaging 30.0 points and 10th at 377.0 total yards per contest.
Cutler has completed 146 of 225 passes for 1,658 yards and 12 touchdowns with seven interceptions.
Behind an improved offensive line, Cutler and McCown have been sacked 12 times. The Bears allowed 28 through the first eight games of 2012.
Matt Forte rushed for a season-high 125 yards, scored his fourth TD in two games and recorded 54 yards through the air at Green Bay. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery combined for 12 receptions for 167 yards and each had a touchdown.
The Bears are 29th against the run, allowing 127.5 yards per game, and yielded 139 to Reggie Bush when Detroit snapped a three-game series skid with a 40-32 home win Sept. 29.
Chicago outgained Detroit 417-387, but Bush’s running coupled with three Cutler interceptions and his fumble that was returned for a TD ultimately doomed the Bears.