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There’s an ‘outside’ chance that Jay Cutler can make it back against Pack

Updated: January 16, 2012 10:36AM



Quarterback Jay Cutler offered hope that he might return before the end of the regular season — even an outside chance to play against the Packers next week.

‘‘I’ll say outside. I wouldn’t say it’s good or definite or even a real possibility,’’ Cutler said Wednesday on “Waddle & Silvy” on WMVP-AM (1000). ‘‘There’s always a chance.’’

While in Denver last weekend, Cutler said he threw a football for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a broken thumb he suffered against the Chargers on Nov. 20.

‘‘It’s kind of like trying to relearn it,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘The ball was a little foreign in my hands. It’s a little bit stiff. And those pins in there, that adds a little bit of a shooting pain. In the next few weeks we have to figure out once all the swelling’s going whether I can manage with these pins or we’re going to have to pull them.’’

Forte return?

On a conference call with Seattle reporters, coach Lovie Smith said that Matt Forte, recovering from an MCL sprain, might play Sunday against the Seahawks. But Forte did not practice Wednesday, and it’s highly unlikely he’ll play without having practiced.

‘‘But he’s making ­progress, I will say that,’’ Smith said. ‘‘He’s doing more things. He’s looking better. He’s better today than he was yesterday.’’

Injury report

Defensive end Julius ­Peppers, cornerback Charles Tillman and linebacker Lance Briggs did not practice Wednesday, all suffering from bumps and bruises, Smith said.

Defensive tackle Henry Melton (shin) also did not practice. Safety Major Wright (shoulder) and guard Edwin Williams (calf) were limited in ­practice.

Hustle award

Long-snapper Chris Massey had a career-best four tackles on special teams against the Broncos — a good day for any long-snapper.

‘‘I happened to be in the right place at the right time,’’ said Massey, who has played the last three games in place of injured veteran Pat Mannelly. ‘‘It’s an added bonus [to make a tackle]. I really prided myself earlier in my career on making tackles. As you get older, it’s still fun to get down there and make plays.’’

50-yard perfection

Robbie Gould’s franchise-record 57-yard field goal had plenty of distance. But Gould would not speculate how much farther he could have kicked one Sunday. ‘‘I’ll let everyone else speculate,’’ he said. ‘‘It felt good from 57.’’

Gould is 6-for-6 on field goals of 50 yards or longer this season.

‘‘It’s been a great year,’’ Gould said. ‘‘Guys have done a great job blocking. Chris [Massey] and Pat [Mannelly] have done a great job snapping all year. They’ve been very consistent. And [Adam] Podlesh has been a great holder. Those guys just make it so much easier to do your job.’’



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