With the Bears driving and their game on the line in an eventual 27-24 loss to the Lions on Sunday, two of the team’s best playmakers weren’t on the field.

Steady veteran Benny Cunningham was in at running back to serve as the blocking back for rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, which explains why Jordan Howard was on the sidelines. But where was rookie running back Tarik Cohen and rookie tight end Adam Shaheen?

Trailing 27-24, the Bears started their final drive with 1:31 on the clock and stayed mostly with the same personnel for Trubisky. It was Dontrelle Inman, Kendall Wright, Tre McBride and Daniel Brown lined up out wide, with Markus Wheaton taking two plays for Inman. The rookies Cohen and Shaheen — both of whom had scored touchdowns earlier in the game — watched from the sidelines.

Coach John Fox explained why in his Sunday postgame press conference and again on Monday at Halas Hall.

“Every one of those guys that’s out there is a veteran guy who’s been in football for some time,” Fox said. “The fact that you don’t huddle and they have to know what’s going on, regardless of what position they play, I think most of the guys out there are veteran guys, and there’s a lot to know when you don’t huddle. There’s a lot of football to understand.