Its unlikely that coach Lovie Smith had a list longer than one name Mike Tice when he considered replacements for Mike Martz as his offensive coordinator. But now that Tice has emerged as a candidate in Oakland, the need for a contingency plan is upon the Bears.
At this point the upheavals elsewhere could work to the Bears advantage, although advantage is a relative term.
If Tice leaves there would be options (there always are; this is, after all, the NFL):
Jim Caldwell -- fired in Indianapolis. QB coach at Tampa Bay in 2001 under Tony Dungy, then succeeded him as head coach.
Clyde Christensen -- offensive coordinator in Indianapolis prior to the dismissal of Caldwell. On the Tampa Bay staff 1996-2001 while Lovie Smith was linebackers coach.
Darryl Drake -- Bears receivers coach, NFL receiver with Washington and Cincinnati, was O.C. at Baylor, passing-game coordinator at Western Kentucky; has good relationship with Jay Cutler and worked under Terry Shea, Ron Turner and Martz.
Greg Olson -- offensive coordinator with Tampa Bay the past three seasons, interviewed for Bears passing-coordinator job this month. Bears QB coach under Dick Jauron in 2003.
The official injury designation is “doubtful” but Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is unofficially expected to be out of Sunday’s game with the Detroit Lions after not practicing on Thursday or Friday due to his injured right thumb.
“It is a pretty critical area on the quarterback, especially when it's your right thumb and you're a right handed quarterback,” Bears head coach John Fox said. “So you know we're going to get him healthy and that's our main objective and we'll see if he's any further along [Saturday].”
The designation — “questionable” — was brighter for wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, except for the mild surprise that he was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday with a knee issue and then was limited on Friday because of a hamstring.
[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]
Jeffery missed six games last season, two separate instances, because of hamstring problems.
Besides Cutler, running backs Ka’Deem Carey (hamstring) and Jeremy Langford (ankle), nose tackle Eddie Goldman (ankle) and linebacker Danny Trevathan (thumb) also did not practice and are listed as doubtful. Carey, Cutler, Goldman and Trevathan all were inactive in Dallas, and Langford suffered his ankle sprain against the Cowboys.
Limited but listed as questionable: guard Josh Sitton (shoulder), outside linebacker Willie Young (knee); and defensive backs Sherrick McManis (hamstring), Tracy Porter (knee) and Harold Jones-Quartey (concussion, cleared).
Today's panel includes Pat Boyle, Jim Miller, Brian Urlacher and Mark Schanowski. The guys talk about what went wrong in Dallas and whether or not they can fix it this Sunday against Detroit. Brian Urlacher also explains the intricacies of the '46' defense. Finally, Urlacher-- an avid golf fan-- talks the Ryder Cup and previews his new show on The Golf Channel.
Check out the latest edition of the Bears Talk Podcast here: