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Bears Preparing Barkley To Start As Cutler Remains Sidelined From Practice

By Chris Emma--

(CBS) Bears quarterback Jay Cutler's injury isn't season-ending, as coach John Fox proclaimed Wednesday, but it seems clear that Cutler won't be starting Sunday at Soldier Field.

With Cutler mending an injury to his throwing shoulder, the Bears have been preparing Matt Barkley to start. On Thursday, Cutler was held out of practice once again.

"I'm going to be ready," Barkley said Wednesday. "I'm not overthinking it, I'm not overhyped. I'm just going to be me and try to win this game."

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While Fox referred to Cutler's injury as "day-to-day," it seems like it could be a week-to-week process. Fox did acknowledge Cutler's ability to recover quickly, though playing through a shoulder injury that's been reported as a tear would require managing pain.

"He's a tough son of a gun," Fox said. "So he doesn't go typical of the lengths people put into it as far as weeks and what not."

Cutler missed six weeks with a thumb sprain earlier this season. Backup Brian Hoyer started in his place, though his season ended with a broken left arm in the loss to the Packers in October. Barkley assumed the role for Hoyer and finished the game 6-of-15 for 81 yards and two interceptions in his only action as a Bear.

Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, who scouted Barkley out of college while with the Titans, is eager to work with the quarterback.

"We're excited to see what he's like when has has a full week of preparation," Loggains said.

The Bears' injury report remains long, with the team having to adjust the type font so it could all fit on one page. Rookie Leonard Floyd remains in the concussion protocol, and Josh Sitton (ankle) and Eddie Royal (toe) also missed practice.

Marquess Wilson, Mike Adams, Bobby Massie, Eddie Goldman, Mitch Unrein, Christian Jones, Pernell McPhee, Willie Young, Demontre Hurst, Cre'Von LeBlanc, Sherrick McManis, Tracy Porter and Deiondre' Hall all worked in a limited role.

Injuries have been far too frequent during this Bears season, and the quarterback position has been no exception. Three quarterbacks have been hurt, including Connor Shaw, who suffered a broken leg during the preseason. The Bears signed David Fales from the Ravens' practice squad Wednesday to provide depth behind Barkley.

As of Thanksgiving, the Bears are preparing with Barkley to start while Cutler recovers from his injury.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago's sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.

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