>>Trestman Says He's Aware of Speculation About Future
Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman is aware of speculation about his future and acknowledges he is not getting the most out of quarterback Jay Cutler.
The Bears (5-9) have two games left in a season that derailed long ago and changes could be coming. Trestman says his focus is on the task at hand, which is preparing for this weekend's game against Detroit and figuring out a way to end a three-game losing streak.
Even so, he acknowledges there is "noise out there" about his future. He also says he feels "very supported" within the Bears' headquarters.
If there are changes, it is unclear how far up the chain they will go.
>>Bears To Start Jimmy Clausen At Quarterback
(Chicago, IL) -- The Chicago Bears are benching quarterback Jay Cutler for their upcoming game against the Detroit Lions. ESPN reports the team will start backup Jimmy Clausen instead. Chicago has lost three straight and is in the NFC North cellar at 5-and-9. Cutler leads the league with 18 interceptions and 12 fumbles. Clausen has thrown for 16-hundred yards, three touchdowns and nine interceptions in 16 games over his five-year career out of Notre Dame. The Lions are 10-and-4 and tied with the Packers for first place in the division. Detroit currently holds the tiebreaker, having beaten Green Bay back in Week Three.
>>Bears' Conte Says Playing In NFL Worth Health Risks
(Chicago, IL) -- At least one player believes playing in the NFL is worth any potential long-term health risks. Bears safety Chris Conte tells WBBM Radio that he'd rather have the experience of playing in the NFL and die 10 or 15 years earlier than not be able to play in the NFL and live a long life. The 25-year-old said he's not even referring to concussions, just the general risk of playing football.
>>Report: Michigan Makes Offer To Jim Harbaugh
(Ann Arbor, MI) -- The University of Michigan wants 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh to come back to his alma mater. Multiple reports have the school offering Harbaugh a six-year, 48-million-dollar contract to leave the pros. The 1986 Big Ten Player of the Year is under contract with the Niners through the 2015 NFL season. Harbaugh led San Francisco to three straight NFC Championship games, but are out of playoff contention this season at 7-and-7. The Wolverines fired head coach Brady Hoke after four seasons. U-of-M finished 5-and-7 this year and missed a bowl game for the first time since 2009. At eight-million-dollars per season, the deal at Michigan would make Harbaugh the highest-paid coach in college football. The Oakland Raiders are also rumored to be interested in Harbaugh's services, but would have to trade for the coach.
>>49ers Release McDonald Amid Sexual Assault Allegation
(Santa Clara, CA) -- The San Francisco 49ers are parting ways with embattled defensive tackle Ray McDonald. Niners general manager Trent Baalke [[ BAHL-kee ]] says the team has released him from his contract after reports he was served with a search warrant by police investigating an alleged sexual assault. San Jose police went to his home Tuesday after speaking with a woman who was receiving treatment at a hospital for a possible sexual assault. The preliminary investigation revealed the alleged suspect to be McDonald. The 30-year-old was arrested in August for a domestic violence incident involving his pregnant wife, but charges were later dropped due to a lack of evidence.
>>Panthers' Newton Back At Practice
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton practiced on Wednesday for the first time since injuring his back in a car crash last week.
Newton suffered two fractures in his lower back last Tuesday afternoon in a two-car accident near the team's stadium, forcing him to miss Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Newton "looked good" in limited action during practice, even throwing a couple of passes over 60 yards.
But Rivera stressed that the team was taking a wait-and-see approach as far as Newton's status for Sunday's game against Cleveland is concerned.
Derek Anderson filled in for Newton and threw for 277 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 19-17 win over the Buccaneers.