Jordan Palmer's preseason numbers were more than respectable, including an 88.9 passer rating. He completed 70 percent of his passes (21 of 30) for 225 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
But Jimmy Clausen is 4 years younger, has a stronger arm and more potential than the 30-year-old Palmer.
"Jordan did a heck of a job," coach Marc Trestman said. "We really did a good job, and (quarterbacks coach) Matt (Cavanaugh) did, of giving the guys almost an equal amount or reps and opportunity.
"At the end of the day it really comes down to how you feel about things."
In Friday night's exhibition loss at Seattle. Palmer followed starter Jay Cutler, and his first possession began backed up at the Bears' 12-yard-line. A false start by rookie tackle Charles Leno didn't help, and Palmer took a sack on the next play.
But Trestman said he didn't assign much weight to that series.
"I really threw out the plays Jordan had (when the offense was) backed up," Trestman said. "I know Jordan was terribly upset about that situation. (But) that really didn't come into the consideration."
Safety numbers trimmed:
The contract of vested veteran safety Craig Steltz was terminated Monday, reducing the roster to 77, two over the limit of 75 all teams must be at by 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Steltz, a six-year veteran, has been one of the team's top special-teams players during his six-year career, accumulating 58 tackles, second best on the Bears during that time.
He also started eight games since being drafted in the fourth round out of LSU in 2008, making 97 tackles with 1 interception and 3 forced fumbles.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Steltz missed most of training camp and didn't get his first preseason action until Friday night after returning from off-season groin surgery.
Getting a long look:
Rookie quarterback David Fales, who moved up to No. 3 on the depth chart after Jordan Palmer's release, will start Thursday night's preseason finale and could play the entire game at Cleveland.
"He's going to start the game, and we'll see where it goes," coach Marc Trestman said. "I'd like to see him play a lot of the game. If we have to finish the game, we'll finish it with Jimmy (Clausen)."
The 6-foot-1, 228-pound Fales, a sixth-round pick out of San Diego State, did not play in Friday's loss to the Seahawks or in the previous game. He completed 5 of 7 passes in the preseason opener for 68 yards with a 62.5 passer rating.
Bad and good:
Failure to keep Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in the pocket and a pair of crucial first-quarter penalties were the two biggest negatives defensively Friday night, according to coordinator Mel Tucker.
"Those are the main two areas we need to improve on before our first regular-season game," Tucker said. "Those things were addressed (Monday). On a positive note, there were) no double-digit runs. I think that's the first time in the preseason we haven't had a run over 10 yards. That's the first time in quite some time."
Three players injured in Friday's preseason game did not practice Monday: safeties Chris Conte (concussion) and Ryan Mundy (head laceration) and fullback Tony Fiammetta (hamstring), while guard-center Brian de la Puente (sprained knee) remained out.
Offensive tackle Jordan Mills (foot), cornerbacks Kyle Fuller (ankle) and Isaiah Frey (hamstring) and guard-tackle Eben Britton (hamstring) returned to practice.
Conte is working his way through the typical concussion protocol and is not expected to play in the preseason finale Thursday. Coach Marc Trestman said Fuller and Frey are "day to day."