Cutler back at practice, Sunday vs. Vikings still not cleared

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Cutler back at practice, Sunday vs. Vikings still not cleared

Exactly how it plays out for him as far as facing the Minnesota Vikings may not be clear for another day or two, but Jay Cutler spent some time as the Bears No. 1 quarterback on Thursday.
Cutler was cleared only for limited participation in practice. His status as evaluated after Thursdays practice will be key. And defensive end Shea McClellin was listed as full participation in practice, although both of them were able to do some things on a limited basis, according to coach Lovie Smith. So its looking better for them, to get them on the football field.
If there is a worrisome parallel for Cutler it is back out in San Francisco where 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, who suffered a concussion on the same Sunday as Cutlers against the Houston Texans. Smith was cleared for limited practice last week ended up inactive after his concussion symptoms persisted into the weekend and was still not fully OK as of this Wednesday. Colin Kaepernick remained with the No. 1 offense.
Meanwhile, Jason Campbell also was limited with sore ribs from hits in the 49ers game. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall (shoulder) was limited, as were defensive tackles Stephen Paea (shoulder) and Matt Toeaina (calf). Tight end Kellen Davis (ankle) did not practice on Thursday.
The Vikings practiced without wide receiver Percy Harvin (ankle) and guard Charlie Johnson (toe). On the limited list were defensive tackle Letroy Guion (foot), wide receiver Michael Jenkins (foot) and cornerback Antoine Winfield (unspecified).

With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base

With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base

LOS ANGELES – The Cubs drafted and developed Ian Happ with the idea of turning him into a Ben Zobrist-type player who would move quickly through the farm system and surface as a versatile big-league contributor and/or legitimate trade chip.

With Zobrist sidelined because of a sore left wrist, the Cubs got their first look at Happ playing second base in The Show during Saturday’s 5-0 loss at Dodger Stadium. That kind of depth – plugging in a 2015 first-round pick while a World Series MVP rests – should ultimately propel the Cubs over the course of a 162-game season.

Even as the Cubs stutter-step through a 25-23 start, there are enough choices for the best defensive second baseman on the team and a National League Championship Series co-MVP (Javier Baez) to sit on the bench.

“We know that the talent’s there,” Zobrist said. “It’s not like having any one or two guys out of the lineup is a big drop-off for us because of the talent that’s there. And we know that just because we have a lot of young players doesn’t mean that they’re not extremely capable of doing the job as well.”

Zobrist – who’s reached base in 23 straight games and emerged as a new leadoff option with Kyle Schwarber struggling – felt something on an awkward swing in the first inning of Friday’s 4-0 loss to the Dodgers. Zobrist played through it that night and called it a “day-to-day thing” that didn’t require an MRI.

[MORE: Is Joe Maddon turning Kyle Schwarber into a platoon player?

Facing Clayton Kershaw on Sunday after back-to-back shutouts will be a game-time decision.

“It’s tough,” Zobrist said. “We just haven’t strung together enough quality at-bats to score runs the last two games. It’s not just because of us. They’ve pitched well. Their pitchers are pretty hot right now. They’ve spotted up. They’ve gotten early strikes where they needed to and then gone to work pretty well on us.

“The task doesn’t get any easier tomorrow with Kershaw. We just got to keep trying to chip away.”

Morning Update: White Sox officially announce signing of Luis Robert, split doubleheader

Morning Update: White Sox officially announce signing of Luis Robert, split doubleheader

Here are the top Chicago sports stories from Saturday: 

Preview: Cubs look to avoid getting swept by Dodgers today on CSN

Preview: Knights look to bounce back tonight on CSN

White Sox courting of Luis Robert leads to 'Christmas in May'

Cubs blanked again by Dodgers

Tyler Danish gets win in first big league start as White Sox beat Tigers in first game of doubleheader

After getting shut down by Buck Farmer, White Sox ninth-inning rally falls short

Scott Boras fires back at Jake Arrieta’s critics and makes another Max Scherzer comparison

Blackhawks sign defenseman Michal Kempny to extension

Luis Robert will start journey through White Sox organization in Dominican Summer League

With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base