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

Josh ScobeeSep 1 11:43a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (hamstring), DT Sen'Derrick Marks (shoulder), PK Josh Scobee (quadriceps) and OT Zane Beadles (undisclosed) are practicing Monday, Sept. 1.

Larry DonnellSep 1 11:43a

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell is the starting tight end on the team's unofficial depth chart. TE Daniel Fells and Adrien Robinson are second- and third-string, respectively.

Quintin DempsSep 1 11:23a

New York Giants SS Quintin Demps is the lead kick returner, while WR Preston Parker is the lead punt returner.

Ben TateSep 1 10:52a

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate is expected to stay on the field on third downs, according to head coach Mike Pettine. This is good news for his PPR [ More ]

Charles BrownSep 1 10:43a

New York Giants OT Charles Brown (shoulder) and OT James Brewer (back) returned to practice Monday, Sept. 1.

Ahmad DixonSep 1 10:22a

The Dallas Cowboys released SS Ahmad Dixon.

Lonnie PryorSep 1 09:52a

The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent FB Lonnie Pryor (Buccaneers) and OG D.J. Morrell (Rams) to the practice squad.

Tony HillsSep 1 09:32a

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent LB David Hinds (Titans), TE Jacob Maxwell (Lions), CB Lowell Rose (Chargers) and WR Tommy Streeter (Buccaneers) to the practice squad. C Sam Brenner, [ More ]

Emil IgwenaguSep 1 03:53a

In addition to the previously announced signings of TE Michael Egnew and RB George Winn, the Detroit Lions inked OG Rodney Austin, FB Emil Igwenagu, S Nate Ness, WR [ More ]

Chase FordSep 1 03:42a

Nine players were signed to the Minnesota Vikings practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players joining the squad include RB Joe Banyard, WR Kain Colter, DT Isame Faciane, TE [ More ]

D.J. SmithSep 1 03:33a

The Carolina Panthers brought 10 players onto their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players signed were CB Carrington Byndom, LB Adarius Glanton, WR Tavarres King, SS Robert Lester, [ More ]

Trevin WadeSep 1 03:22a

The New Orleans Saints signed six players to their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Signees include WR Brandon Coleman, CB Terrence Frederick, WR Seantavius Jones, OT Tavon Rooks, [ More ]

Champ BaileySep 1 02:52a

Although the New York Jets are in need of cornerbacks, they are unlikely to pursue free-agent CB Champ Bailey, who was cut by the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, [ More ]

Dee MillinerSep 1 01:02a

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls and FS Antonio Allen could start at cornerback Week 1 because of the injury to CB Dee Milliner (ankle).

Jeromey ClarySep 1 12:23a

San Diego Chargers OG Jeromey Clary (shoulder, hip) underwent hip surgery around a week ago, and his status for the 2014 season is uncertain, according to sources. Clary has [ More ]

Ryan SuccopSep 1 12:12a

Free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) is receiving significant interest from the Tennessee Titans and could sign with them as early as Monday, Sept. 1, according to a source.

Kenjon BarnerSep 1 12:02a

Philadelphia Eagles RB Kenjon Barner (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Vincent BrownSep 1 12:02a

San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Brown (calf) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

DeMarcus Van DykeAug 31 11:52p

Kansas City Chiefs CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Jake StoneburnerAug 31 11:32p

Green Bay Packers TE Jake Stoneburner (undisclosed) and OT Aaron Adams (knee) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after they were waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

M.D. JenningsAug 31 11:22p

Chicago Bears FS M.D. Jennings (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Steve VallosAug 31 10:33p

The Tennessee Titans released C Steve Vallos Sunday, Aug. 31.

Damian WilliamsAug 31 10:22p

The Miami Dolphins released WR Damian Williams Sunday, Aug. 31.

Mike ThomasAug 31 10:12p

The Houston Texans released WR Mike Thomas Sunday, Aug. 31.

Duke IhenachoAug 31 09:53p

The Washington Redskins have claimed SS Duke Ihenacho off waivers from the Denver Broncos.

Brandon HarrisAug 31 09:53p

The Tennessee Titans have claimed WR T.J. Graham off waivers from the Buffalo Bills, WR Kris Durham from the Detroit Lions and CB Brandon Harris from the Houston Texans.

Garrett GilkeyAug 31 09:42p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have claimed OG Garrett Gilkey off waivers from the Cleveland Browns.

MarQueis GrayAug 31 09:32p

The Minnesota Vikings have claimed TE MarQueis Gray off waivers from the Cleveland Browns and OT Michael X. Harris from the San Diego Chargers.

Brandian RossAug 31 09:22p

The Miami Dolphins have claimed CB Brandian Ross off waivers from the Oakland Raiders.

Mickey ShulerAug 31 09:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have claimed TE Mickey Shuler off waivers from the Atlanta Falcons.

Damaris JohnsonAug 31 09:12p

The Houston Texans have claimed OT Jeff Adams off waivers from the Tennessee Titans, WR Damaris Johnson from the Philadelphia Eagles and CB Darryl Morris from the San Francisco 49ers.

LaRon ByrdAug 31 09:02p

The Cleveland Browns have claimed WR LaRon Byrd off waivers from the Dallas Cowboys, OT Caylin Hauptmann from the Seattle Seahawks and RB Glenn Winston from the San Francisco 49ers.

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