The Chicago Bears have already placed quarterback Jay Cutler on the injured reserve, but he continues to heal with an eye on being healthy for the beginning of next season. Bears head coach Lovie Smith told reporters from CBS Chicago that Cutler had the pins in his throwing hand removed on Tuesday, another step in the star quarterback's rehabilitation process.
Cutler, emerging as one of the better players at his respective position this year, injured the thumb on his throwing hand while making a tackle against the San Diego Chargers on Nov. 20. The Bears held out hope in the few weeks after the injury that he would be able to return at some point this season, but that's proven to be an overly optimistic assessment of the situation.
Chicago has really struggled without Cutler, losing every single game that the team has played since he went down. After losing four straight games with back-up Caleb Hanie at the helm, the Bears lost last week against the Green Bay Packers with the recently-signed Josh McCown starting at quarterback.