CHICAGO BEARS quarterback Jay Cutler and linebacker Lance Briggs will miss Monday night's home game against Dallas.
Coach Marc Trestman yesterday said Cutler remains out with a high ankle sprain, while Briggs will not return from a shoulder fracture. Cutler practiced on a limited basis yesterday while Briggs went through conditioning work on the sideline but did not practice.
Josh McCown will make his fifth start in Cutler's absence, and Trestman couldn't be certain whether Cutler will be available the following week at Cleveland.
"From the work today, it just looks like he's progressing," Trestman said of Cutler. "I haven't talked to him specifically about it, but he seemed to work through the practice very well. He did the things that the trainers have asked him to do, but didn't overdo it."
Cutler has been out with the ankle sprain since the final series of the Bears' 21-19 loss to Detroit on Nov. 10. He had also missed one game with a torn groin muscle. Trestman did not see Cutler's inability to play this week as a setback in terms of his recovery.
"Jay is very clear on where he is medically," Trestman said. "He's continuing to progress. I think we've been very, very clear that he's got to be released by the doctors before he can play, and he's come to terms with that. He's a strong-willed and strong-minded guy.
"He can't control this decision on Monday other than to continue to work at his rehab."
* Oakland strong safety Tyvon Branch has returned to practice this week for the first time since breaking his right leg Sept. 15 and hopes to be able to play Sunday against the New York Jets.
* A judge handed New England cornerback Alfonzo Dennard another year of probation and 30 additional days in jail as a result of a drinking-and-driving incident in Nebraska last summer.
Dennard last April was sentenced to 2 years of probation and 30 days in jail for assaulting a police officer outside a Lincoln bar in 2012. He admitted he violated his probation 3 months later when he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. Lancaster County District Court Judge Stephanie Stacy extended his probation from 2 to 3 years and his jail term from 30 to 60 days. He is to report to the county jail March 1. She also barred him from consuming or possessing alcohol and increased his mandatory community service from 100 to 200 hours.
Dennard, who played college football at Nebraska, is scheduled to appear in county court today for a hearing on the July drunken-driving case.
* Minnesota cornerback Chris Cook and Green Bay cornerback Tramon Williams each were $26,250 for contact with an official, per NFL guidelines. Cook said he inadvertently touched a side judge's arm. Williams said he didn't realize he had made contact with the official, and meant no harm.
* New York Jets safety Ed Reed hopes to play another 2 years in the NFL, and doesn't worry about critics who say he isn't playing up to his usual high standards. In other Jets news, receiver Jeremy Kerley fully participated in practice for the first time since dislocating his left elbow last month and is expected to play Sunday against Oakland.
* Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin is meeting in Los Angeles with NFL special investigator Ted Wells for a second round of questioning about the team's bullying scandal, a source told the Associated Press.
* Cleveland quarterback Jason Campbell practiced for the first time since sustaining a concussion Nov. 24 and could start Sunday at New England. Campbell still must be cleared by an independent neurologist.