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NFL: Bears offer new challenge to Packers

By Chris Jenkins

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 12 2012 10:51 p.m. MDT

GREEN BAY, Wis. — With two words, Jay Cutler dismissed the notion that the Green Bay Packers would be able to disrupt the Chicago Bears' new-look wide receiver corps with physical play: Good luck.

Emboldened by a makeover that featured the arrival of Brandon Marshall, Cutler believes the Bears are better prepared to handle any sort of clutching, grabbing or jamming by the Packers.

"Our speed guys are going to get around them and our big guys are going to throw and go," Cutler said. "We invite press coverage. We invite man. And if we get in that type of game, our guys outside have to make some plays for us."

And if the Bears (1-0) somehow find a way to outscore Aaron Rodgers and the Packers (0-1) at Lambeau Field tonight, the result will be something that seemed unlikely going into the season: The Bears could send the NFC North heavyweights to an unlikely 0-2 start at home.

Four days after their defense got pushed around in a season-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the Packers must find a way to stop a Bears offense that put up 41 points on Indianapolis in a Week 1 victory.

Renewing the productive partnership he had with Cutler in Denver, Marshall caught nine passes for 119 yards with a touchdown.

Marshall had a big game the last time he faced the Packers, catching 10 passes for 127 yards with the Miami Dolphins in 2010. He welcomes the physical brand of coverage the Packers have used to neutralize Bears receivers in the past.

"It's all about matchups," Marshall said. "I'm 6-5, 230. There aren't too many DBs walking around that big. If they want to get physical, I do welcome that. But again, you look at Williams and (Sam) Shields over there and even (Charles) Woodson when he's down there, they like to mix it up a lot. They give you different looks and that's what gives them big-play potential."

Green Bay could be without wide receiver Greg Jennings, who hurt his groin in the game, has missed practice time and is listed as doubtful. The Packers could again try to create mismatches with Randall Cobb, who caught a team-high nine passes last week.

COLLIE CLEARED TO PLAY: Colts receiver Austin Collie will practice this week and could make his first regular-season appearance Sunday against Minnesota.

Coach Chuck Pagano said Wednesday that doctors cleared Collie earlier this week. Collie has not played since being diagnosed with a concussion Aug. 19.

Collie practiced last week and went through a workout before last weekend's loss at Chicago. But the Colts (0-1) then put Collie on the inactive list.

Collie has had at least three concussions since November 2010 and left another game during that span with concussion-like symptoms.

ARIZONA QB SKELTON DOESN'T PRACTICE: Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt still isn't naming a starting quarterback for Sunday's game at New England.

John Skelton did not practice on Wednesday but Whisenhunt would not rule him out for the game, saying that he's improving. Kevin Kolb says he practiced with the first unit on Wednesday but has not been told whether or not he will start against the Patriots.

GOODELL WANTS BOUNTY MEETING WITH PLAYERS SOON: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to meet with the players whose bounty suspensions were temporarily lifted "as soon as possible."

Appearing at a hearing on Capitol Hill, Goodell noted Wednesday that the league "offered several times to have them come in as part of the hearing process, the CBA process, and I hope that they'll do that soon."

An appeals panel last week overturned the suspensions of Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma (2012 season) and defensive end Will Smith (four games) for their roles in the team's bounty program from 2009-11. Browns linebacker Scott Fujita got three games and DE Anthony Hargrove, now a free agent, got eight.

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