The Bears lost more than a game Sunday as defensive end Willie Young exited their 20-14 defeat to the Lions early in the second half with an Achilles' injury.
Young was carted to the locker room and left Soldier Field in a walking boot. Coach Marc Trestman declined to discuss the nature of the injury, saying only that "it's an injury that is going to take some time" and that Young will not play in next Sunday's season finale in Minnesota.
Young ends his season with a career-high and team-leading 10 sacks. He's the first Bears player to reach double-digits in sacks since Julius Peppers had 11.5 in 2012.
If Young is placed on injured reserve, he'll join four other defensive starters: Linebackers Lance Briggs and D.J. Williams, cornerback Kyle Fuller and tackle Lamarr Houston.
Balancing act:** The Bears benefitted from a more balanced offense than they had in their 34-17 loss to the Lions on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit. Kyle Long rushed for 55 yards on 19 carries Sunday after gaining six yards on only five attempts in the first meeting between the teams.
The commitment to the running game helped quarterback Jimmy Clausen, who passed for 181 yards and two touchdowns while making his first start in four years in place of Jay Cutler.
"Matt ran really hard today," Clausen said. "That's a great defense over there we played against. They're the No. 1 [run] defense in the National Football League. So to run the ball like we did today was a very good thing for us, whether it was three yards or two yards, just to move the line of scrimmage, going in that direction is a good thing."
More changes: With right guard Kyle Long unable to play due to a hip injury, the Bears started their ninth different offensive line combination in 15 games this season, with rookies Ryan Groy at left guard and Michael Ola at right guard.
"The offensive line held up great," said Clausen, who threw 39 passes and was sacked twice. "They gave me time to get to my reads, gave Matt time to run the ball. They did a great job."
The Bears didn't find out that Long would be unable to play until Sunday morning.
"I think our guys did a nice job of taking care of the rush," Trestman said. "They were up to the challenge. What hurt us today was that we had too many third-and-longs and that put us in a very difficult position."
Key drops: Alshon Jeffery caught a touchdown pass for the sixth straight game, a 20-yarder from Clausen that gave the Bears a 14-10 lead. But the third-year pro also dropped two passes, including one on third-and-10 late in the game.
"He had opportunities where he didn't accomplish what he wanted to accomplish and that was catching the football," Trestman said. "I thought he made some very good catches. He had some opportunities and some targets and we didn't make the connection."
News and notes: The Bears finished the season 2-6 at home. … Jeremiah Ratliff blocked Matt Prater's 37-yard field goal attempt early in the fourth quarter, allowing the Bears to maintain their 14-10 lead. … Ratliff, Jared Allen, Christian Jones and David Bass all recorded sacks for the Bears, with Jones compiling a team-leading 11 tackles. … For the third straight game, veteran kicker Jay Feely did not attempt a field goal while subbing for the injured Robbie Gould (quad).