2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Bears stars to get breather in preseason finale

By ANDREW SELIGMAN - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-29 02:45

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - The Chicago Bears got the balance they sought on offense last week. Now, their starters are getting a breather.

Don't expect to see Chicago's top stars on the field during Thursday night's final preseason game against Cleveland.

Their dress rehearsal for the opener against Cincinnati on Sept. 8 came last week, when they dominated Oakland in the first half. Now, Jay Cutler gets a breather. So does Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte, along with every other star on both sides of the ball.

For the Browns, the top players might get a few snaps, and that would be just fine with quarterback Brandon Weeden.

``If that's what (coach Rob Chudzinski) wants to do, absolutely,'' Weeden said. ``I'm a creature of habit and I like to prepare and I like to not take a ton of time off and skip anything that I normally do, but if that's what he wants to do then absolutely, I'm all for it.''

The Browns believe they are finally headed in the right direction and poised to take a big step forward after five straight seasons with at least 11 losses.

They hired Chudzinski and brought in Norv Turner as offensive coordinator. They inherited a team with a second-year quarterback in Weeden who has all the tools to succeed, but it hasn't been the smoothest run so far.

They lost running back Dion Lewis to a broken leg. He went down against Detroit on Aug. 15 and was placed on injured reserve, a big blow to their backfield. He was expected to play on third down and as a change of pace for starter Trent Richardson.

Meanwhile, Weeden and the first-team offense struggled in last week's 27-6 loss to the Colts, raising anxiety among fans with the opener against Miami approaching.

Weeden was off-target after impressive showings in the first two weeks, missing easy throws and forcing passes. There were drops, critical penalties and a failure by the Browns to score on their first seven possessions. They looked like a team that needed more work, and they might get it on Thursday.

The Bears' starters appear ready, dominating Oakland in the first half after struggling the previous week against San Diego.

Cutler spread the ball around, with Alshon Jeffery finishing with seven receptions for 77 yards after all five passes went Marshall's way in the Chargers game.

That eased some of the anxiety of the Bears' fans, even though the game was ultimately meaningless. It wasn't exactly soothing for Marshall, with the Pro Bowl receiver saying he isn't where he needs to be physically after having offseason hip surgery.

Whatever work he gets between now and the opener will almost certainly come in practices and workouts, after coach Marc Trestman said this week he plans to rest most - if not all - of his starters against Cleveland.

That's hardly unusual.

Teams typically play their starters for only a half in the third preseason game then sit them in the finale to avoid unnecessary injuries and give bubble players a chance to solidify roster spots. Chudzinski is bucking that trend, to a degree.

The Bears (2-1) are holding to it, but their coach also acknowledged a possible benefit to giving the starters some snaps in a fourth preseason game.

``We're going to work hard this week as if it's training camp to work them and then we're going to rest them and get them focused on Game 1,'' said Trestman, in his first season as the Bears' coach after spending the past five leading the CFL's Montreal Alouettes.

``That's the way we did it when I was up north and the places that I've been. I haven't experienced a lot of different ways of doing it, and it seems to have worked well. The question has a good answer. There would be some to say why not give them a half the week before and get their conditioning up. So I don't know if there's a right or wrong, just the direction we've gone here and a lot of teams go around the league.''

So don't expect to see Cutler anywhere but on the sideline, assuming he's in the stadium. He and every other star player will likely sit this one out, along with backup quarterback Josh McCown. Trestman said Jordan Palmer will start behind center, with Trent Edwards expected to relieve him.

``There's still competition for positions on the team and there's competition for positions in this league. There's great value in this game on multiple levels,'' Trestman said.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Jake BequetteAug 28 08:52a

New England Patriots TE/DE Jake Bequette (undisclosed) was waived/injured Thursday, Aug. 27.

Miles AustinAug 28 08:32a

Philadelphia Eagles WR Miles Austin hasn't stood out, or received many chances to stand out, thus in training camp. His role is undetermined as he could start on the [ More ]

Nelson AgholorAug 27 10:22p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor should be the 'second-most productive receiver on the team when the season ends,' according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ryan MallettAug 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett missed practice Thursday, Aug. 27, because he overslept. Mallett was present for meetings later on, however. He will also be at practice Friday, Aug. 28.

Josh JohnsonAug 27 07:42p

Free-agent QB Josh Johnson (Bengals) signed with the New York Jets Thursday, Aug. 29. QB Jake Heaps was subsequently waived.

R. Griffin IIIAug 27 07:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (concussion) has been cleared to play Saturday, Aug. 29, against the Baltimore Ravens.

Earl ThomasAug 27 06:22p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) is on track to be ready for the start of the regular season, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Markus WheatonAug 27 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Markus Wheaton could be primed for a breakout season, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler.

Letroy GuionAug 27 04:52p

Green Bay Packers DE Letroy Guion will be suspended for the first three games of the regular season after his appeal was apparently denied.

Martavis BryantAug 27 03:02p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant has been suspended four games for violating the league's Substance Abuse Policy, according to league sources. He has filed an appeal.

Arian FosterAug 27 02:22p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has been working out in Houston, and he's expected to return to the field in some facet by Week 2 to Week 4, [ More ]

Pat DevlinAug 27 10:32a

Free-agent QB Pat Devlin (Dolphins) signed with the Cleveland Browns Thursday, Aug. 27. OL Ryan Seymour was waived.

Connor BarthAug 26 08:53p

Free-agent PK Connor Barth (Broncos) agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Aug. 26, on a two-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DeVante ParkerAug 26 04:23p

Miami Dolphins rookie WR DeVante Parker (foot) isn't sure if he'll be healthy enough in time for Week 1. He and the Dolphins don't want to have rushed return [ More ]

Brandon McManusAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Connor BarthAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Evan RoysterAug 26 10:13a

Atlanta Falcons RB Evan Royster (undisclosed) was waived/injured Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Rex GrossmanAug 26 09:23a

Free-agent QB Rex Grossman (Redskins) was signed by the Atlanta Falcons to a one-year, $1 million deal Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Taylor MaysAug 26 12:43a

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent SS Taylor Mays (Bengals) Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Orlando ScandrickAug 26 12:43a

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Tuesday, Aug. 25. An MRI confirmed the injury.

Michael VickAug 25 07:42p

Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Michael Vick (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Tuesday, Aug. 25. Financial terms were not disclosed. QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) [ More ]

Evan MathisAug 25 06:13p

Free-agent OG Evan Mathis (Eagles) agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Jameis WinstonAug 25 04:33p

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie QB Jameis Winston (ankle) suffered a sprained ankle Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Lovie Smith still expects [ More ]

Josh JohnsonAug 25 02:53p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Josh Johnson was released Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Victor CruzAug 25 02:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) doesn't know when he'll be able to return to practice as he continues to deal with inflammation in [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerAug 25 01:23p

Tennessee Titans backup QB Zach Mettenberger has performed at a high level in training camp and the preseason, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt laughed off a suggestion that the [ More ]

Bruce GradkowskiAug 25 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) suffered a dislocated finger on his left hand during the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, according to [ More ]

Andre WilliamsAug 25 12:22p

New York Giants RB Andre Williams could overtake RB Rashad Jennings as the lead back sometime this season, maybe even to open the season. Williams has worked on his [ More ]

Mike EvansAug 25 09:13a

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) isn't believed to have a serious hamstring injury. 'I talked to him and he didn't feel like it [ More ]

Jameis WinstonAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 90 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against [ More ]

Doug MartinAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin rushed six times for 59 yards in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mike EvansAug 24 09:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) left the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Aug. 24, due to a strained hamstring.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group