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Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler (thumb) cleared to play

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In the type of coincidence native to the NFL, the Bears received clearance on quarterback Jay Cutler on Monday -- soon after we discovered that quarterback Brian Hoyer will be out for a significant amount of time with a broken arm.

Head coach John Fox made the announcement Monday, adding that Hoyer's surgery was successful. The Bears later added Hoyer to injured reserve, as expected.

While we thought we'd see Hoyer remain the starter until the end of the season, the Bears will continue to do the same hollow song and dance with Cutler that they've been doing for the better part of his massive seven-year contract.

What we do have now, though, is the stage for an audition. Cutler could very well be entertaining quarterback-needy teams in the offseason should Chicago opt to get out of the contract while they have the chance to escape with no guaranteed money on the hook. Cutler could still do very well for himself in the right circumstance. At just 33, he will have suitors.

How many depends on how well he plays down the stretch.

In two games this season -- both losses -- Cutler completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 373 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The team's next game is a prime-time game against the 5-1 Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field.

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