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Jay Cutler on return: We’ve got to be smart

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 4: Quarterback Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears, injured and not suited up for play, watches from the sideline against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on November 4, 2013 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Bears quarterback Jay Cutler set a goal of returning for Week 10’s game against the Lions and reports over the weekend put him in position to do just that.

On Tuesday, however, Cutler pulled back on the reins a bit. He didn’t say that he would miss a second game while recovering from a torn groin muscle, but he also didn’t say that he was ready to get back in uniform.

“Can’t tell you,” Cutler said on ESPN 1000, via the Chicago Tribune. “I wish I could say I’d be out there. But the way Josh [McCown] has been playing, we feel good. ... We’ve got to be smart.”

Cutler said he won’t know how far he is in his recovery until he resumes practicing, so Wednesday should be a telling day in terms of his chances of playing.

With both the Bears and Lions at 5-3, it’s clearly a big game for playoff positioning in both the conference and the division. There are seven more right behind it, though, and they might all be meaningful as well. If holding Cutler back until he’s fully recovered gives the Bears a better chance of having him in the lineup for all of them, that’s the right route for them to take.