Jay Cutler, who's been injured since Oct. 20, looks to return to game action Dec. 9 against Dallas. (AP)
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Injured quarterback Jay Cutler hopes to return to the Chicago Bears' lineup in two weeks.
The Bears' next game is at Minnesota on Sunday, and coach Marc Trestman said he expects Cutler to remain sidelined because of a high left ankle sprain.
Chicago then hosts Dallas on Dec. 9. If he's not ready for that Monday night game against the Cowboys, Cutler expects to return at Cleveland on Dec. 15.
"I will be playing either that Monday game or wherever we play after that," Cutler said Monday during his weekly appearance on WMVP-AM 1000 in Chicago. "Let's lean toward the Monday game, though."
Cutler said that he won't need surgery and there's "zero chance" he's finished for the season.
Trestman is also confident that his quarterback will return in December. But Cutler will likely sit out his third straight game when the Bears visit the Vikings.
"I'm totally confident he'll play again this season," Trestman said. "I don't have any reason based on what I've been told. It's still week-to-week. I'm confident. I think Jay is confident. You have to leave yourself an opening, but there is no underlying information here."
Trestman also said Monday that Matt Forte slightly hyperextended his knee the previous day in a loss at St. Louis and ruled out linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) for the Minnesota game (see full story).
Griffin suspended for helmet-to-helmet hit
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The NFL has suspended Titans safety Michael Griffin one game without pay as a repeat offender of the league's rules prohibiting hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players.
The league announced the penalty Monday from Merton Hanks, the NFL's vice president of football operations.
Griffin cannot practice or play Sunday against Indianapolis or take part in any football activities with the Titans until Dec. 2.
The safety was flagged for unnecessary roughness in the second quarter of Sunday's 23-19 win over Oakland for a hit on Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera. It was Griffin's second violation this season and fourth since 2011. Griffin went in low but hit Rivera when the tight end stretched forward making a catch.
He has three days to appeal the suspension.
Banged-up Chiefs shift focus to Broncos
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Kansas City Chiefs could be without their two top pass rushers against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on Sunday after Tamba Hali and Justin Houston were hurt against San Diego.
Hali had an MRI exam on his sprained ankle Monday that came back better than the Chiefs had expected, while Houston had to postpone an MRI exam on his elbow due to swelling.
"They weren't able to get him in the position that they wanted him to do the MRI," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, "so we'll wait a day or so to get the swelling down."
Hali rolled over his ankle in the first half of Sunday's 41-38 loss to the San Diego Chargers, and was helped gingerly off the field. He was driven on a cart to the locker room and didn't return, and afterward was seen hobbling around on a pair of crutches.
Reid joked that Hali was down to one crutch on Monday, "so we're halfway there." Hali has nine sacks on the season, tied for fifth in the NFL entering the weekend, and needed just two more to pass Art Still (73) for the third-most in franchise history. The two-time Pro Bowl selection is among the most dependable players on the team, rarely missing a game.
"He'll continue to work this week. He was in moving around a little better today than he was after the game," said Reid, who wasn't sure whether Hali would practice on Wednesday.
"We'll just see how he does," Reid said. "He made big improvements, but we just have to see how he does. He was on crutches after the game and then today he was able to walk in the pool."
Reid sounded less upbeat about the prognosis for Houston, who landed awkwardly on his right arm while chasing down a play shortly before halftime (see full story).