CHICAGO — Who serves as Jay Cutler's primary backup at quarterback remains a work in progress, but Jimmy Clausen and Jordan Palmer each got their chance to lay claim to the job Thursday night.
Clausen got the first opportunity, playing into the fourth quarter after Cutler worked the Bears' first two drives of the night. Despite working for two full quarters, Clausen was unable to get the Bears into the endzone while completing 11-of-15 passes for 94 yards.
Clausen also had a pass picked off by free safety Josh Evans following a deflection by linebacker Telvin Smith.
Palmer, who relieved Cutler in last week's win over Philadelphia, engineered the Bears' first scoring drive since the first quarter in his first series of the night. Relying on a steady ground game diet of Ka'Deem Carey, Palmer moved the Bears down the field before Carey finished off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run that trimmed the deficit to 19-14.
Palmer then moved the Bears down the field during an effective seven-play, 86-yard drive that resulted in a go-ahead touchdown on a Senorise Perry 5-yard scoring run. The run gave the Bears a 20-19 lead with 50 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter after a 2-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
Carey led all Bears rushers with 36 yards on 13 carries. Overall, the Bears offense wasn't nearly as effective, totaling only 260 yards by late in the fourth quarter after piling up nearly 500 yards of total offense against the Eagles.
TE Miller leaves with foot injury
The news on the injury front didn't get any better for the Bears in the second quarter of Thursday night's preseason game with Jacksonville.
Tight end Zach Miller was carted off the field midway through the second quarter with a foot injury. The team announced he would not return. Miller was coming off a strong effort against the Eagles last week when he scored a pair of touchdowns in a 34-28 win and also looked good this week as the Bears wrapped up training camp in Bourbonnais.
No further details regarding Miller's injury were made available and his status won't be made clear until coach Marc Trestman's postgame press conference. Matthew Mulligan came in at tight end after Miller was injured.
Penalties continued to plague the Bears in the second quarter, when Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee connected on his third field goal of the game to give the Jaguars a 16-7 halftime lead.
The Bears were forced to punt on both of Jimmy Clausen's drives, thanks in large part to miscues that led to penalties (illlegal hands to the face seemed to be a favorite among game officials) and stalled any offensive progress the Bears tried to generate. All told during the first half, the Bears were whistled for six penalties.
Running back Shaun Draughn was effective – especially on Clausen's first drive when he continued to work with the first-team offensive line. Draughn, who continues to be considered the No. 2 option behind Matt Forte, put together back-to-back impressive runs on his first two carries and was also effective as a receiver out of the backfield.
The second quarter also brought Jacksonville rookie quarterback Blake Bortles' first look, Bortles finished the quarter 7-for-10 for 114 yards after starter Chad Henne completed 12-of-17 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown.
-- Jeff Arnold
Cornerback Kyle Fuller leaves game with ankle injury
Coaches don’t care much for preseason wins and losses — the biggest ‘loss’ is an injury, and the Bears suffered one on the opening kickoff.
Rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller left the game with an ankle injury and will not return. The first-round pick was in on the opening kickoff team — something he did not do last week against the Eagles, but as the nickel, he will likely have special-teams duties during the regular season.
It could be a minor injury that the Bears don’t want to make any worse with more playing time in a meaningless game. We’ll hopefully learn more from Trestman in his post-game press conference.
With Fuller out, Kelvin Hayden took the reps as the first-team nickel corner, covering the slot, while Tim Jennings worked the outside.
The defense had a shaky start, giving up a 17-yard run to Toby Gerhart on one drive, and several easy passes in the zone defense en route to a 13-0 early deficit. The best play the defense did have came on Jacksonville’s first drive, when Jon Bostic ranged to his right, shed blockers and made a great play to stop a run on 3rd-and-short, forcing a field goal.
On the Jaguars' third drive, Jeremiah Ratliff and Stephen Paea got a great push up front and shared a sack of Chad Henne.
Penalties were the "red flag" last week, as Trestman put it, and Paea, Ryan Mundy and Hayden were all penalized in the first quarter. Hayden's illegal contact negated a Scott sack.
The Bears’ first-team offense opened with a three-and-out. Personnel-wise, it was noteworthy to see Zach Miller get the first crack as the No. 2 tight end ahead of Matthew Mulligan (Dante Rosario is out with a calf injury). Eric Weems was the kickoff returner and No. 3 wide receiver, and Michael Ola started at right tackle.
Speaking of Weems, he has not gained many yards on his returns, and when he did get out to a 25-yard return, he lost a fumble, another major special-teams gaffe, and a big knock against Weems, as he tries to win that job.
-- Kevin Fishbain