Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 11/16/14

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 18: Quarterback Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on October 18, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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.
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