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Bears QB David Fales will have to wait for his chance

Rookie David Fales was the people’s choice when the Bears announced that quarterback Jimmy Clausen would not play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings because of a concussion he suffered against the Detroit Lions.

But, alas, coach Marc Trestman decided to go back to Jay Cutler. A disappointment for Bears fans, but not so much for Fales.

‘‘Nah,’’ said Fales, a sixth-round draft pick from San Jose State. ‘‘It’s not my decision. We’re all supportive of each other. We’re glad Jimmy’s not seriously hurt. I’m excited for Jay and getting him ready [for the Vikings].’’

Fales would have added some much needed intrigue to the final game of a miserable Bears season. At 6-1, he has below-average size and questionable arm strength for the NFL. His strengths are things you can only see in a game — making quick decisions and running a fast-paced passing offense with precision and rhythm.

But it didn’t sound as if Trestman was as intrigued as others.

‘‘Jay is clearly our best option in this case,’’ he said. ‘‘[Fales is] in a learning process — learning how to prepare and study and get ready for a game. I think he’s learned a lot from the two guys he’s in the room with [Cutler and Clausen]. He works very hard on his techniques and fundamentals in practice. The fact that he’s on the 53 says a lot about what we think about him and wanting to give him an opportunity down the road.’’

As a sixth-round draft pick, Fales is a long shot to make it in the NFL. Still, it would not be unheard of to give him a shot. The Cleveland Browns might start Connor Shaw, an undrafted rookie from South Carolina, against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Zach Mettenberger, a sixth-round pick drafted five picks before Fales, has started seven games with the Tennessee Titans.

With Clausen out, Fales at least will be Cutler’s backup. So there’s still a chance he could play this week. But his role is still that of being the good soldier.

‘‘I think everyone wants to play,” Fales said. ‘‘But we’ve got a good group here, and we’re excited for Jay to have a good game this week, and [we’re] really supportive of him. It’s all about getting him ready and making sure I’m prepared as well.’’

Fales spent most of this season on the practice squad but was promoted to the 53-man roster Dec. 13 after the New England Patriots tried to sign him. That Bill Belichick was interested is the most tangible sign that Fales might be able to play in the NFL. And Fales acknowledged it boosted his own confidence.

‘‘But I’m really glad that the Bears kept me here,’’ he said. ‘‘This is where I wanted to be. I’m glad it’s mutual and they wanted me here. We have a great group of people with our coaching staff and players who really want to win.’’

Fales also had a big supporter before the draft in San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, who rated Fales among the top five quarterbacks in the draft after watching Fales’ pro day in April. Fales’ offensive coordinator at San Jose State was Jimmie Dougherty, who coached for Harbaugh at the University of San Diego.

‘‘I’m a big fan,’’ Harbaugh told the Sacramento Bee after watching Fales’ workout.

It’s always difficult to judge a quarterback who has not played in a game. But Fales’ confidence has only grown this season.

‘‘You don’t know until you get out there. It’s different than preseason,’’ he said. ‘‘But you’ve got to have confidence in order to play in this league. I’m definitely confident in my ability, and I know when I do get my shot, I’ll be prepared and ready to go out there and execute.’’

Email: mpotash@suntimes.com

Twitter: @MarkPotash