Bears QB Jay Cutler is improving, but will he be ready to start? (US Presswire)

In December, 2010, the Minnesota Vikings made the Chicago Bears wait until game day to find out that Brett Favre was starting at quarterback after he had been listed as "out."

This maneuvering never sat well with coach Lovie Smith.

The shoe isn't quite on the other foot this time, but it's close. The Vikings won't know for certain that they'll face Bears QB Jay Cutler at Soldier Field Sunday until at least Saturday and possibly until game day because Cutler has not yet undergone a test from an independent neurologist as he attempts to come back from a concussion.

Cutler went through a second straight limited practice session Friday. He hasn't had a full practice this week.

Cutler officially is listed as questionable for the game.

"He has progressed, which we wanted him to do," Smith said after Friday's practice. "As I said, it's looking good. One more step: to get him evaluated by an independent neurologist. But besides that, again, he was able to do more today than he did yesterday (Thursday)."

The Bears do have a smaller-scaled practice on Saturday that is closed to the media. Occasionally teams change a player's injury report status on Saturday, and that could happen with Cutler.

NFL concussion protocol requires that Cutler be given this test by an independent neurologist, so reports in the media or on Twitter earlier this week that Cutler will play are simply jumping the gun. It isn't certain until after he has this test Saturday.
"He looked pretty good," WR Devin Hester said about Cutler. "He didn't miss a beat. And he was back in action."

Interestingly, backup Jason Campbell went through his first full practice Friday after suffering a rib injury Monday night against the 49ers and is probable. The only Bear out on the injury report is WR Alshon Jeffery, who had knee surgery this week. TE Kellen Davis (ankle) went through his first limited practice of the week Friday and is questionable.

The Bears have revamped their offensive line this week after the 49ers debacle and put Jonathan Scott in at right tackle to start for Gabe Carimi, while putting Chris Spencer back in at left guard as a starter ahead of Chilo Rachal, who got upset about the move and left the team.
There was no thought given to holding Cutler out because the line protecting him is completely different.

"If a player is injured we won't play them, but if they're ready to go, of course (he'll play)," Smith said. "We're trying to win football games and they want to play."

Cutler has a passer rating of 100.8 in six career starts against the Vikings, with 15 touchdowns and six INTs.

 Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter @CBSBears.