(MCT) — Bears coach Lovie Smith kept tight wraps on Jay Cutler’s progress on his return from a concussion, while 49ers quarterback Alex Smith was cleared for non-contact drills Wednesday.
Cutler was at Halas Hall, but the Bears chose not to practice so it’s unknown how far along he is toward getting a green light from an independent neurologist to return to action. Alex Smith wore a black jersey signifying no contact is allowed at the 49ers’ practice and appears headed toward playing in Monday’s game at Candlestick Park.
“Jay is getting better,” Lovie Smith said. “I am not going to go into exactly each step he has taken and things like that, and I think you can understand why. We will be on the practice field (Thursday). We can give you a little bit better idea of where he is then.”
Cutler missed one game after a Week 4 concussion in 2010. This is the third concussion of his NFL career and at least the fourth dating to his career at Vanderbilt. Alex Smith doesn’t have such an extensive record with head injuries, but Lovie Smith didn’t seem overly concerned with the number his quarterback has suffered.
“I can’t really get into all of that,” he said. “He’s not going start practicing until he is completely healed and ready to go. He won’t play, of course, until there are no issues with that.”
Lovie Smith said he is not worried about Cutler long term even though he’s two concussions short of the number in the NFL that ended the career of linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer.
“I am just worried about the one that he had the other night,” Lovie Smith said. “Can’t look into the future or anything like that. Every case is different. Jay’s feeling a whole lot better. I just know that. It will all play out.”
McClellin’s status uncertain: Rookie defensive end Shea McClellin, who suffered a concussion Sunday and had immediate symptoms, was at Halas Hall on Wednesday but didn’t comment on his status. McClellin was injured on the third play of the game when he bumped heads with Texans tight end Garrett Graham. If McClellin is unable to go against the 49ers, the Bears could move Cheta Ozougwu into the defensive end rotation.