Clausen will have fewer plays to work with

  • Jimmy Clausen, right, said that he, Jay Cutler, left, and David Fales all have "a great relationship."

    Jimmy Clausen, right, said that he, Jay Cutler, left, and David Fales all have "a great relationship." Associated Press

Updated 12/19/2014 7:53 PM

Considering Jimmy Clausen has just two full days of practice with the first team -- all season -- the Bears' gameplan will be scaled back Sunday from what it would have been for Jay Cutler.

"(Even) with the limited practice (Friday), we've gotten a lot of work done with these guys," coach Marc Trestman said. "They put in some extra time to make sure that everybody is in the right spot and knows where to go.


"(But) probably not the quantity of plays because we haven't had an opportunity to rep them with (Clausen) throughout the year."

Trestman also reiterated that he doesn't want Clausen to play as if he has to win the game by himself.

"He doesn't have to carry the weight of the team on his back," Trestman said. "He's got to utilize the offense and certainly his teammates to do his job and try to take it in that perspective."

Hopefully that includes a greater commitment to the running game than in the first meeting when seven run plays and one kneel-down were offset by 51 pass plays.

"Certainly part of our gameplan is to run the ball, as it should be," Trestman said. "We know it's not going to be easy. (The Lions) have the best run defense in the league. But we know that's going to be a part of what we do on Sunday.

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One happy family:

It might seem as if the relationship between new starting quarterback Jimmy Clausen and benched quarterback Jay Cutler would be awkward, but Clausen says not so.

"We have a great relationship," he said. "Since Day One when I came in, Jay's been great with me, helping me, and that's what he's doing right now, too.

"Obviously it's tough on him, (but) he's just been there the whole entire season, even though I'm the backup. Just talking, going back and forth, 'What do you see? This is what I see.' That type of deal. David Fales as well. All three of us get along great in the quarterback room, along with (quarterbacks) coach (Matt) Cavanaugh and (Marc Trestman). Just a great relationship all three of us have."

Strength vs. strength:

The most interesting matchup Sunday should be the Lions' three-time Pro Bowl tackle Ndamukong Suh vs. Bears guard Kyle Long, who made the Pro Bowl last season as a rookie.


"He's a good player, obviously a Pro Bowl player," Suh said of Long. "Very fast, strong and aggressive, plays with a great demeanor and just a guy that obviously is going to be a great guard in this league for years to come."

Injury report:

Safety Chris Conte (back) will miss his second straight game, and kicker Robbie Gould (right quadriceps) is out for his third straight.

Rookie Brock Vereen should start again for Conte, and Jay Feely will handle field goals, although rookie punter Pat O'Donnell could share the kickoff duties, as he did Monday night against the Saints.

Four players, guard Kyle Long (hip), cornerback Tim Jennings (ankle) and defensive tackles Jeremiah Ratliff (knee) and Will Sutton (illness) are questionable. Sutton did not practice Friday, while the other three were limited.

Cornerback Kyle Fuller (hand) and linebacker Shea McClellin (ankle) are probable after full practices.


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