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Rookie DE David Bass looks like a keeper

Updated: December 10, 2013 6:11AM



Shea McClellin can’t catch a break.

Days after a breakthrough, three-sack game against the Green Bay Packers, the Bears’ starting defensive end is on the sideline with a hamstring injury he suffered in practice Thursday.

McClellin is listed as doubtful for the game against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field on Sunday. Rookie defensive end David Bass likely would start in his place, with Cheta Ozougwu expected to be promoted from the practice squad for additional depth.

Bass is a seventh-round draft pick by the Raiders who signed with the Bears after he was cut at the end of training camp. Under the tutelage of defensive line coach Mike Phair, Bass has been making an impact in a limited, but growing, role. He has played 44 percent of the defensive snaps the last three games. He tackled Redskins wide receiver Aldrick Robinson for an 11-yard loss on an end-around and had three tackles, including a shared tackle for loss, against the Packers on Monday night.

‘‘He’s got some upside and he’s going to get an opportunity to play if this thing goes as we think it will,’’ coach Marc Trestman said. ‘‘He has athletic ability, he’s strong up front, he can move around and Mike is working hard to continue to develop him.’’

Sage advice for Cutler

Hall of Fame quarterback and ESPN analyst Steve Young cautioned Jay Cutler to make sure he’s ‘‘healthy enough to go all the way to January and into February for the Super Bowl’’ when he returns this week.

‘‘With the offense that Marc Trestman has ... everybody is getting up to speed. They’ve had three or four months of playing with him, they now understand it and believe in it. I think it’s enough to carry them,’’ Young, who played for Trestman with the 49ers in 1995-96, said Friday on ESPN’s SportsCenter. ‘‘If they can firm up the defense, get healthy, this team could threaten into February. So if Jay’s going to play ... Jay, make sure you’re playing because you have an eye to playing in February. And if you’re not healthy enough, please be careful.’’

Injury report

Linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder), long snapper Pat Mannelly (calf) and newly signed defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (groin) are out. McClellin is doubtful. Cutler (groin), cornerback Charles Tillman (knee), linebacker Blake Costanzo (back), tight end Dante Rosario (ankle) and guard James Brown (illness) are probable.

For the Lions, wide receiver Nate Burleson remains out with a broken arm. Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, cornerback Bill Bentley (knee) and tackle Corey Hilliard (knee) are doubtful.

Mannelly out; Cain in

Mannelly was relieved to have only a pulled calf muscle when his calf ‘‘wouldn’t work’’ on a field-goal attempt last week. He will not play Sunday against the Lions, but hopes to play against the Ravens on Nov. 17 at Soldier Field.

He will be replaced by veteran Jeremy Cain, who was the long snapper for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2009-12 but was cut in training camp.

‘‘It’s challenging, but I look forward to the opportunity. I’m excited to play Sunday,’’ said Cain, who snapped for Bears punter Adam Podlesh with the Jaguars in 2009-10.

Cain said he has been training at home since he was cut and had workouts with the Redskins and Patriots ­before signing with the Bears.

Email: mpotash@suntimes.com

Twitter: @MarkPotash



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