Trestman names Cutler starter against Browns

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Lake Forest, IL ( - Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman announced on Thursday that quarterback Jay Cutler has been medically cleared and will be under center against the Cleveland Browns.

Cutler took all the first-team reps in practice on Thursday for the first time in more than a month after missing the last four games with a high left ankle sprain suffered in a 21-19 loss to Detroit on Nov. 10.

"There was no residual issue, no swelling," said Trestman. "I expect Jay to play well, play efficiently."

Josh McCown has more than held his own in Cutler's absence, tossing 10 touchdown passes with just one interception since taking over late in the loss to the Lions. McCown led Chicago to a 2-2 record over his last four starts and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after throwing for four touchdowns with a rushing score in Monday night's 45-28 rout of the Cowboys.

Some anticipated Trestman might stick with McCown, but the first-year coach put an end to those rumors.

"This decision (to play Cutler) was made a long time ago," Trestman added. "I don't look at it like that."

Cutler has thrown for 1,908 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions in eight starts this season.

The 7-6 Bears are currently tied atop the NFC North standings with the Lions, who own the tiebreaker after completing a season-sweep of Chicago.

Linebacker Lance Briggs participated in practice on a limited basis. His status is still unknown for Sunday.