Cutler arrived in South Florida on Monday morning to take a physical and sign a one-year, $10 million contract. He didn't practice, as backup Matt Moore took the first-team reps.
Although Cutler won't play Thursday, all indications are that he will soon take over the starting job.
"He didn't come out of retirement to stand on the sideline, but he's got a ways to go," Gase said. "He needs to come in here, take a physical and see where he's at."
Gase is confident he is getting the same version of Cutler he had two years ago in Chicago. In 2015, Cutler had one of the best years of his career under Gase, throwing for 3,659 yards, 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Cutler played just five games last season after suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. He retired in May to take a television job with Fox Sports before Gase persuaded him to return to football to replace quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who suffered a knee injury last week.
"After watching last year, I saw basically the same stuff," Gase said. "He got injured and [the Bears] decided to move on from him."
Moore took the signing of Cutler in stride and talked about it with Gase.
"We had a nice conversation, and he told me what's going on," Moore said. "It was very simple, very straightforward. I get it. I understand. ... It's a team sport, and I'm a team guy."