Jay Cutler to start as Bears' QB

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Jay Cutler successfully completed a full-speed workout on Wednesday, prompting Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman to name him the starting quarterback over backup Josh McCown for the team's Sunday matchup with the Cleveland Browns.

The move didn't come as a surprise, as Trestman said Wednesday he anticipated Cutler performing well enough that the team would "be moving forward" toward officially naming him the starter.

Cutler performed a battery of on-field drills in which he went through drops, and redirected in the pocket. The quarterback worked mostly off the script the club would be using in practice Thursday, and the objective, according to Trestman was to "get as much suddenness out of [Cutler] as we can," so the team could make the determination of whether to bring back the quarterback.

Cutler has missed four consecutive games due to a severe high-ankle sprain sustained in the second quarter of a Nov. 10 loss to the Detroit Lions, and there has to be at least minimal concern on the club's part about the type of cardiovascular shape the quarterback is in due to the long layoff. But Trestman hasn't expressed any of that.

In fact, Trestman believes the workout on Wednesday, and practices on Thursday and Friday will be "sufficient" to adequately prepare Cutler.

Cutler practiced for two days last week, before the team decided to rest him last Saturday as a precautionary measure. Prior to that, Cutler had only run on a treadmill last Monday for doctors as part of an evaluation.

McCown started in the last four games, winning two of four outings while throwing for 1,271 yards and nine touchdowns with only one interception for a passer rating of 109.8, which ranks No. 3 in the NFL. McCown had also filled in for an injured Cutler on Nov. 10 at Green Bay and led the Bears to a 27-20 victory.

McCown, 34, leads the NFL with a Total QBR of 85.7, compared to Cutler's 63.2. McCown has thrown for 13 touchdowns and only one interception in five starts and portions of two other games, while Cutler has produced 13 scoring passes and eight interceptions.

He completed 36 passes on Nov. 24 at St. Louis to set the franchise's single-game pass completion record. He's thrown for 300-plus yards in each of the last three games, and currently holds the franchise's highest single-season passer rating.

McCown passed for 258.4 yards per game in his seven appearances, an average that ranks as the highest in the a single season in franchise history.

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