Cutler back for clash with NFC's top dog

Cutler comes back for clash with NFC's top dog

Rarely have Chicago fans clamored for Jay Cutler under center. Tonight, though, they sincerely hope the embattled quarterback can put a scare into 5-1 Minnesota.

The two NFC North rivals square off at 8:30 p.m. ET, with the host Bears looking to snap a three-game losing skid. As for Cutler, he’ll be active for the first time in six contests. The 33-year-old sprained ligaments in his right thumb in a 29-14 defeat to Philadelphia on Sept. 19.

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Should another physical ailment befall Cutler this evening, however, Soldier Field could turn into a real house of horrors. Backup signal-caller Brian Hoyer just broke his left arm against Green Bay. The only other thrower on the roster, Matt Barkley, owns a career rating of 34.2.

Fortunately for the host squad, the backfield situation seems less murky. Jeremy Langford may return from a sprained ankle, further boosting coach John Fox’s committee that includes Jordan Howard and Ka’Deem Casey. On the outside, leading receiver Alshon Jeffrey (knee)’s probably healthier than he has been since the start of the campaign.

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Meanwhile, the Vikings’ health situation would be positively sublime if not for Jerick McKinnon’s gimpy ankle. He’ll miss the primetime tilt, forcing Mike Zimmer to up the reps for short-yardage specialist Matt Asiata. Wideout Cordarrelle Patterson continues to work his way back from a concussion, too.

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