BEARS IN BRIEF: Clark shuts up and sits
BY NEIL HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
First Desmond Clark disappeared from the starting lineup, then from the 45-man game-day roster. The veteran tight end, who before this season started 99 of 105 games since 2003, doesn't know why he hasn't been in Mike Martz's plans and isn't about to ask the offensive coordinator for the reason.
''If you ask for explanations and it's not what you want to hear or you don't think it's legitimate that's when you get frustrated,'' said Clark, who has one catch for 12 yards. ''I just go out to practice and let that speak for me. I can control the things I can control. That's what I rest on. I can control what I do out on the practice field. I can't control the personnel decisions.''
Despite ranking second among Bears tight ends with 242 career receptions, Clark has always been known as a solid blocker, which is what made him being inactive for the 17-3 loss to the Giants on Oct. 3 such a surprise. With Brandon Manumaleuna and Greg Olsen getting most of the playing time, the Bears allowed 10 sacks, including an NFL-record nine in the first half.
Clark was inactive last week and tight end Kellen Davis active for a second straight week.
''You have to understand that if you are not starting for us right now, special teams is a major reason why for a lot of things,'' Martz said. ''So it's not an indictment against anybody, other than one guy's really involved in special teams and one is not. That's the biggest consideration. People read more into that sometimes than what's really there.''
Earlier, Clark said he did not think special teams play was a primary factor in Martz's decision. He also said his lack of playing time isn't performance-related.
''It would be more frustrating to me if I couldn't get the job done and I felt that and I knew that and they weren't playing me,'' he said. ''For me, that would be more frustrating because that's on me.''Surgery for Garza
Veteran guard Roberto Garza will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his knee and won't play Sunday.
Coach Lovie Smith would not speculate how long Garza might be sidelined. Garza's injury, however, is a factor in offensive line coach Mike Tice possibly moving left tackle Chris Williams to left guard.
Williams is just returning from a hamstring injury he suffered against the Cowboys on Sept. 19.
''Hopefully, we can get [Garza] back before long,'' Smith said. ''But right now, he has been trying to work through it. But we feel like it's not getting better and we need to get it taken care of, so we'll be doing that shortly.''Jay won't change
Smith said Jay Cutler won't change the way he plays because of his concussion.
''Of course we let him play the way he normally plays,'' Smith said. ''As far as being careful, no, you can't play football being careful. You always trying to play smart ball. If there's a time for a quarterback to run out of bounds or slide, they'll do that. But you can't think about anything else.
''We're going to protect Jay better and hopefully our running game will help out some also, and let him just play his brand of ball.''Bear necessities
Linebacker Lance Briggs (ankle), safety Major Wright (hamstring) and cornerback Charles Tillman (calf) did not practice Wednesday. Brian Urlacher's participation was limited because of a groin injury.
?Smith would not say if Todd Collins or Caleb Hanie would be the backup quarterback against the Seahawks on Sunday.