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Jay Cutler to start for concussed QB Jimmy Clausen on Sunday

Jimmy Clausen won’t play in the Bears’ season finale Sunday because he suffered a concussion against the Lions, the team said Monday.

Jay Cutler will start Sunday, coach Marc Trestman said.

“Jay gives us the best chance this week,” Trestman said.

Clausen was injured following the penalized hit with about two minutes to play Sunday — the quarterback stood up afterward and jawed at the Lions’ Ziggy Ansah, who made helmet-to-helmet contact with him. He played four more plays, throwing a fourth-down interception to seal the game.

Clausen was monitored by Bears staffers and did not display symptoms, the team said. He was told to contact trainers if anything changed; it did. He was taken to the hospital, examined by a team doctor and diagnosed with a concussion The team said he had “delayed symptoms,” and ruled him out for Sunday’s game despite it being six days away. The Bears haven’t typically ruled out players this early in the week.

“That’s the doctors’ decision,” Trestman said. “Medically speaking, he’s been ruled out. And that was done today.”

Despite Cutler’s benching five days ago, starting him is the more logical move. Rookie David Fales, drafted in the sixth round from San Jose State, has never thrown a regular-season pro pass. He wasn’t promoted from the practice squad until two weeks ago, and that was only because another team showed interest in him.

“Jay is clearly our best option in this case,” Trestman said when asked about Fales.

Clausen was solid in his Bears starting debut, completing 23-of-39 attempts for 181 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Trestman wouldn’t commit to a Week 17 starter after the 20-14 loss, and refused to say Monday if a healthy Clausen would have started.

Cutler was benched five days ago in favor of Clausen. Trestman said it was his decision, based on performance.

Cutler will work at Halas Hall on Monday afternoon to begin preparations.

“Jay said, ‘I’ll be ready to go,’” Trestman said.

Trestman said that there was no strife between he and Cutler after the benching, pointing to the two making similar comments to the media last week. He said he enjoyed coaching Cutler and believes he “can work his way out of this.”

“We had dialogue last week,” Trestman said. “And we worked together last week. It was a tough week on him. I empathize with him on that. But we’re moving forward, both with the idea that we’ve worked together for a long time. And that hasn’t changed.”