LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler did not practice Thursday, making it an even stronger possibility that backup Brian Hoyer makes his second consecutive start Sunday when Chicago (0-3) hosts the Detroit Lions (1-2).
Cutler had limited participation Wednesday, according to the Bears' official injury report.
Cutler is attempting to come back from a right thumb injury he sustained in the regular-season opener in Houston and aggravated the next week against Philadelphia. Cutler left the Eagles game following a critical third-quarter interception. He claimed after the game the sprained ligaments and bruising in the thumb on his throwing hand made it difficult for him to grip and control the football.
On the year, Cutler, 33, has thrown 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions, lost 1 fumble and been sacked 8 times for a 75.7 passer rating.
Cutler is coming off a solid season; under former offensive coordinator Adam Gase, he posted a career-high 92.3 quarterback rating. But so far in 2016, Cutler has underwhelmed, prompting many to speculate about the veteran's future with the organization. Cutler does not have any guaranteed money left on his deal after the year, meaning the Bears could open up $13 million worth of salary cap space if they trade or release him in the offseason.
Cutler's non-guaranteed 2017 base salary is $12.5 million. He can earn up to an additional $2.5 million in per-game roster bonuses.
Hoyer, 30, started Chicago's last game in Dallas, completing 30 of 49 passes for 317 yards and 2 touchdowns.
"Like I said, it's a day-to-day thing for me," Hoyer said. "I'm in here every day trying to prepare to play whatever Jay's status is. Until someone tells me different, I'm just preparing like I'm going to play. It was good to have him back out there [Wednesday] and be out there. For me, it really doesn't change anything."