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Jay Cutler to start Sunday against Packers despite injuries

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler led his team victory over Detroit Lions Monday Night Football Oct. 22 2012.  The

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler led his team to victory over the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football Oct. 22, 2012. The game was happening at the same time of the last presidential debate between President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Rom

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Updated: December 14, 2012 8:00AM

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will start Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, despite a neck and knee injury that limited him in practice this week.

The Chicago Tribune reported Thursday evening that Cutler has a sprained medial collateral ligament, citing a team source. But a league source told the Sun-Times that Cutler only has soreness that impacted him earlier in the week but has already dissipated.

According to the Sun-Times source, the neck injury was more of a concern than the knee injury this week.

In the fourth quarter of the Bears 21-14 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Cutler was being taken down by defensive end Jared Allen when defensive end Everson Griffen leveled him high, bending the quarterback’s neck backward. It’s not clear when Cutler hurt his knee.

Jason Campbell finished the game, but Cutler addressed reporters afterward the loss in Minneapolis.

On Wednesday, the Bears didn’t practice. But the club filed an injury report – per league rules – and noted that Cutler would not have practiced that day.

He was limited in his participation on Thursday, and he may practice in full today.

Given the amount of pressure the Packers have put on Cutler, Bears coach Lovie Smith was asked if he had any concern about the quarterback’s mobility because of the knee injury.

“None at all,” Smith said Thursday. “Practiced without any trouble at all. You know, after a hard-fought game like that on the turf you sometimes have some bumps that last a little bit longer.

“He should be fine.”

Cutler missed the second half of the NFC title game against the Packers at the end of the 2010 season because of a knee injury. He was widely criticized – most notably by Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew – for not enduring the pain and finishing the game.

But the Sun-Times reported the day after the 21-14 Packers win that Cutler had suffered a second-degree MCL sprain.

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