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Bears notebook: Chuck Pagano expecting to face Jeff Driskel vs. Lions

Lions QB, who started in place of Matthew Stafford against the Bears on Nov. 10 at Soldier Field, is “day-to-day” with a sore hamstring. Undrafted rookie David Blough would start Thursday at Ford Field if Driskel can’t go.

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears
Bears linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski had an interception and a sack against Lions quarterback Jeff Driskel (2) in the Bears’ 20-13 victory on Nov. 10 at Soldier Field.
Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Lions coach Matt Patricia played it coy Tuesday when asked if Jeff Driskel or David Blough will start at quarterback against the Bears on Thursday at Ford Field — with Driskel slowed by a hamstring injury. But the Bears aren’t playing that game.

“We’re planning on Driskel going,” Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano said. “I think we all know why he made the injury report. He played the whole game. Our advanced scout watched the whole game. They were there. They saw him pregame. They saw him post.”

Driskel was limited in practice Tuesday. He told reporters in Detroit his sore hamstring has “definitely gotten better every day.” Patricia said Driskel was day to day.

Driskel was a surprise starter against the Bears on Nov. 10 after Matthew Stafford was ruled out with broken bones in his back. Driskel completed 27 of 46 passes for 269 yards, one touchdown (a 47-yard pass to Kenny Golladay) and one interception for a 73.6 rating.

He was better against the Cowboys (two touchdowns, no interceptions, 109.3 rating) but worse in a 19-16 loss to the Redskins last week (one touchdown, three interceptions, 50.9 rating).

The Bears could see a similar scenario this time — preparing to face one quarterback and getting another. But, with neither of them Stafford, Pagano took this week’s indecision in stride.

“We’ve looked at the other guy [Blough],” he said. “It’s like the first game. They trotted No. 2 out there, and we had to line up and play against him. We’ll show our guys enough tape on the other guy and make sure we’re ready for whoever lines up there.”

Injury update

Tight end Ben Braunecker (concussion) and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (concussion) did not practice Tuesday and are unlikely to play against the Lions, coach Matt Nagy said.

Right tackle Bobby Massie (ankle), safety Sherrick McManis (groin), tight end Adam Shaheen (foot) and linebacker Danny Trevathan (elbow) also did not practice.

Missing McManis

The Bears have missed McManis on special teams in recent years when he has not played — against the Saints in 2017 and when he was a healthy inactive against the Redskins in Week 3 this season. His likely absence against the Lions can’t be overlooked.

“We’re always developing guys,” special teams coordinator Chris Tabor said. “That’s our world — whatever happens, happens, next man up. As those two guys [McManis and gunner Cordarrelle Patterson] have been playing, we’ve also been working with guys after practice, so if any situation comes up, we’re ready to go.”

Anthony Miller Week

Offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich praised wide receiver Anthony Miller for being a “team dude” after the second-year wide receiver had six catches for 77 yards against the Giants.

“I’ve been saying it for a long time — he’s just uber-talented and loves competitiveness,” Helfrich said. “He wants the rock, no question about it, but he’s a team guy. Just being consistent in practice, consistent in games, and he’s done that for the last couple of weeks.”