(Sports Network) – The Chicago Bears will try to avoid a winless preseason on Thursday night, when they travel to meet the Cleveland Browns in the final warm-up for each team.
The Bears, who have opened their warm-up slate with defeats at the hands of the Chargers (25-10), Raiders (32-17) and Cardinals (14-9), last finished winless in the preseason in 1998, following that showing up with a 4-12 regular season that prompted the firing of then-head coach Dave Wannstedt after the year.
The Bears, Colts and Chiefs are the only teams in the league that enter the final week of the 2010 preseason without a win.
The offense, presided over by new coordinator Mike Martz, has played to mixed reviews in its three games of warm-up action. Starting quarterback Jay Cutler has completed 19-of-37 passes for 275 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in the preseason, and has also been sacked a whopping 10 times.
Jay Cutler won’t start, as reported last night. Rookie Dan LeFevour is expected to see action and then wind up on the practice squad when cutdowns are made, and recently signed veteran Todd Collins will make his first appearance in a Bears uniform and start tonight.
Defensively for the Bears, linebackers Brian Urlacher (calf) and Lance Briggs (ankle) could both be held out for precautionary reasons.
The Browns figure to take a leisurely approach to Thursday’s game as well, with quarterbacks Jake Delhomme (345 passing yards, 2 TD, 0 INT) and Seneca Wallace (230 passing yards, 3 TD, 1 INT) both likely to rest on strong preseason showings.
The bottom of the QB depth chart holds more intrigue, with rookie Colt McCoy (101 passing yards, 2 INT) and Brett Ratliff (61 passing yards, 1 INT) both on the roster bubble.
Following Thursday’s games, all 32 NFL teams will have until 5 pm CT on Saturday evening to trim their rosters to the 53-player maximum.
Cleveland leads the all-time preseason series with Chicago, 16-9, but was a 26-23 road loser when the teams met prior to last season.
The teams also met in meaningful play last Nov. 1st, with the Bears dealing the Browns a 30-6 setback at Soldier Field.
The Browns open their 2010 regular season slate at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 12th, while the Bears play host to the Detroit Lions the same day.