Cutler to have pins removed from thumb

Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith says quarterback Jay Cutler will have pins removed from his surgically repaired right thumb on Tuesday.

Cutler has not played since a win over the San Diego Chargers on Nov. 20, when he broke his thumb trying to help make a tackle following a late interception. The Bears (7-8) have since unraveled with five straight losses and were officially eliminated from playoff contention with a 35-21 defeat at Green Bay on Sunday, a drastic fall for a team that appeared to be a postseason lock.

It didn’t help that star running back Matt Forte sprained a ligament in his right knee against Kansas City two weeks after Cutler went down, yet Smith would not rule them out for this week’s season finale at Minnesota.