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Reports: Jay Cutler cleared, will start for Chicago Bears

It appears the Chicago Bears will have Jay Cutler back in their lineup on Sunday.

CBSSports.com and the Chicago Sun-Times reported Cutler has passed all concussion protocols and is expected to start against the Minnesota Vikings.

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NFL Network's Stacey Dales reported that a source close to the team said the Bears trainer would contact team staff if there were any issues with Cutler's test. The source said the staff hadn't heard anything Saturday night, meaning Cutler appears set to play. The Bears would not confirm or deny reports regarding whether Cutler would play.

Gaining clearance from an independent neurologist is the final step for a player returning to game action following a concussion. Cutler has done that, allowing him to get on the field for the first time in two weeks.

Cutler looked good in practice on Friday, giving the Bears confidence he would pass his final test. He is officially listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings.

"It's always good to have your starter back," Bears running back Matt Forte said. "Jay is very comfortable in this offense and in the passing game especially. We've got to get the running game going to help out the passing game."

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Jason Campbell struggled in Cutler's place, with the Bears losing each of their last two games. Campbell now returns to the bench with the Bears again wondering if the season is in peril if their starter goes down again.

The idea is not to let that happen. In nine starts this season, Cutler has thrown for 1,814 yards, 12 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. His passer rating is 80.4.

The numbers might not jump out at you, but the Bears are a much more confident group with their starter at the controls.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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