2014 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

Alameda Ta'amuDec 21 07:42p

The Arizona Cardinals have declared DL Alameda Ta'amu, OG Anthony Steen, WR Brittan Golden, SS Chris D. Clemons, QB Drew Stanton, OG Jonathan Cooper, DL Kareem Martin inactive for Week 16.

Chris MatthewsDec 21 07:32p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared WR Chris Matthews, DL Demarcus Dobbs, WR Kevin Norwood, C Max Unger, OT Russell Okung, TE Tony Moeaki, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 16.

Ahmad DixonDec 21 11:52a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared SS Ahmad Dixon, LB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, OG Charlie Johnson, TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Shaun Prater, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 16.

Devier PoseyDec 21 11:52a

The Houston Texans have declared WR DeVier Posey, TE Garrett Graham, LB Jason Ankrah, S Josh Aubrey, LB Mike Mohamed, QB Tom Savage, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo inactive for Week 16.

A.J. KleinDec 21 11:52a

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB A.J. Klein, OG Amini Silatolu, CB Carrington Byndom, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, DL Kyle Love, SS Robert Lester inactive for Week 16.

Charles GodfreyDec 21 11:52a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared CB Charles Godfrey, LB James Anderson, OG Jon Asamoah, CB Ricardo Allen, QB Sean Renfree, DL Stansly Maponga, LB Tyler Starr inactive for Week 16.

Jamarca SanfordDec 21 11:52a

The New Orleans Saints have declared SS Jamarca Sanford, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OT Terron Armstead, RB Travaris Cadet inactive for Week 16.

Justin BrownDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Clifton GeathersDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Carl BradfordDec 21 11:42a

The Green Bay Packers have declared DL Bruce Gaston, LB Carl Bradford, CB Davon House, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo, QB Scott Tolzien inactive for Week 16.

Chris McCainDec 21 11:42a

The Miami Dolphins have declared LB Chris McCain, OT Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Don Jones, WR Matt Hazel, OG Nate Garner, WR Rishard Matthews inactive for Week 16.

Arthur BrownDec 21 11:42a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, DL Casey Walker, CB Chris Greenwood, C Gino Gradkowski, WR Michael Campanaro, OG Ryan Jensen, DL Terrence Cody inactive for Week 16.

Aaron MurrayDec 21 11:42a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, RB Charcandrick West, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, CB Marcus Cooper, DL Nick X. Williams inactive for Week 16.

Gary BarnidgeDec 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared OT Andrew McDonald, TE Gary Barnidge, RB Glenn Winston, CB Joe Haden, DB K'Waun Williams, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 16.

Chris ConteDec 21 11:42a

The Chicago Bears have declared FS Chris Conte, QB David Fales, OG Kyle Long, PK Robbie Gould, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott, DL Will Sutton inactive for Week 16.

Dakota DozierDec 21 11:33a

The New York Jets have declared OL Dakota Dozier, SS Jaiquawn Jarrett, QB Matt Simms, FS Rontez Miles, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 16.

Alfonzo DennardDec 21 11:33a

The New England Patriots have declared CB Alfonzo Dennard, OG Dan Connolly, RB James White, OT Jordan Devey, WR Julian Edelman, CB Kyle Arrington, RB LeGarrette Blount inactive for Week 16.

Anthony CollinsDec 21 11:32a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared OT Anthony Collins, FB Evan Rodriguez, CB Isaiah Frey, DL Lawrence Sidbury, RB Mike James, WR Robert Herron, WR Solomon Patton inactive for Week 16.

Kelvin BenjaminDec 21 11:22a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin won't face Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) Sunday, Dec. 21, who is out with a shoulder injury.

Joe HadenDec 21 11:22a

Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) is out Sunday, Dec. 21.

Julio JonesDec 21 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is active Sunday, Dec. 21.

Jay CutlerDec 21 10:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler is receiving trade interest from the Tennessee Titans. If the Titans landed him, it would alter the 2015 NFL Draft board dramatically.

T Y HiltonDec 21 10:22a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is a long shot to play Sunday, Dec. 21. However, he's going to try to suit up.

DeMarco MurrayDec 21 10:12a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) will play Sunday, Dec. 21, but the team is nervous how well he'll hold up in pass protection. If the team qualifies for [ More ]

Zach ErtzDec 20 07:42p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz had 15 catches for 115 yards Saturday, Dec. 20. Both of which are career highs.

Philip RiversDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is active Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared LB Cordarro Law, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, WR Keenan Allen, P Mike Scifres, DL Ryan Carrethers, RB Ryan Mathews inactive for Week 16.

Carlos HydeDec 20 07:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20.

Ahmad BrooksDec 20 07:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared LB Ahmad Brooks, OG Andrew Tiller, RB Carlos Hyde, OG Joe Looney, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 16.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 20 06:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) will be a game-time decision Sunday, Dec. 21, after not practicing all week.

Julian EdelmanDec 20 06:02p

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 16. Edelman didn't receive final clearance from the concussion protocol to play Sunday, Dec. 21.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group