NFL Wire News

Bears’ Clausen hopes somebody, anybody liked his start


LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Now sidelined by a concussion after one start, Chicago Bears quarterback Jimmy Clausen hopes he proved he can play well enough to gain a contract somewhere next season.

The Bears signed him only to a one-year deal. And his start Sunday made Clausen the 23rd different quarterback to start for the Bears since 1995, tied for second most in the NFL behind the Raiders (24).

“I think I just went out there and competed,” Clausen said. “That’s the biggest thing I think I did. I showed I could play in this league.”

Although Clausen’s numbers were respectable, they might have been better had Bears receivers not flat-out dropped four passes and had three other incompletions that bordered on drops.

“We didn’t necessarily have all of us help him the way we could (Sunday),” coach Marc Trestman said.

One key third-down drop by wide receiver Alshon Jeffery cost the Bears a chance to keep their final drive alive.

“Those are plays I know he wanted to make and can make,” Trestman said. “I’ll leave it at that. He certainly didn’t have the day he wanted to have. He had opportunities, he didn’t get it done. He’s a guy who takes real responsibility when he doesn’t do the things we’re calling on (him) to do.”

–Lions center Dominic Raiola earned himself the wrath of Bears when he stomped on the ankle of DT Ego Ferguson. Raiola claimed it wasn’t intentional after the game but replays made it obvious he was being less than truthful. Raiola apologized afterward, but Ferguson was hearing none of it and on Monday Raiola was suspended for the final regular season game.

“None of that matters,” Ferguson said of the apology. “We all saw the play. You can’t take back what happened with that play. That’s the end of that.”

Several Bears in the locker room after the game said they would be surprised if Raiola wasn’t suspended for at least a game for the blatant unsportsmanlike act, which went unpenalized. Ferguson left the field after the play, but returned the next series.

“There’s no need for it,” defensive end Jared Allen said. “That’s our guys’ careers here. You can break someone’s ankles.”

Trestman on Monday said the Bears had already sent video of the incident to the league and are asking

–Defensive end Willie Young suffered a season-ending torn left Achilles injury and finished his season with a career-high 10 sacks, 2 1/2 more than Julius Peppers led the team with last year. It meant more playing time for David Bass, who registered his third career sack.

“That’s a tough one,” Trestman said. “He has kind of been an inspirational leader. … He’s a charismatic guy. He keeps people up. He’s fun to be around.”

Young had yet to have surgery scheduled by early Monday afternoon, but will need to have it.

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