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by panxing18 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:00 pm

GREEN BAY Youth Adrian Clayborn Jersey , Wis. (AP) — A blockbuster deal brought a new wrinkle to the NFL’s oldest rivalry.

The Chicago Bears visit Lambeau Field on Sunday night, just in time for star pass-rusher Khalil Mack to potentially make his debut in the season opener against the Green Bay Packers.

A premier player joins what figures to be an already tough defense. Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks can’t hide his glee.

“When we got him, I was just so excited just to have such a prolific pass-rusher next to me. It’s going to be phenomenal,” Hicks said.

He led the Bears last year with a career-high 8½ sacks. Mack is second in the NFL since 2015 with 36½ sacks. Promising third-year player Leonard Floyd, a 2016 first-round draft pick, will line up at the outside linebacker spot opposite Mack.

This could spell trouble for offensive lines.

“You usually have to game-plan around him, and then when you game-plan around somebody, regardless of what position it is, then there’s an advantage somewhere else,” coach Matt Nagy said. “That gives the advantage to other players on defense, so those guys need to step up when given opportunities.”

The Packers looked into trading for Mack. Now they have to face him.

“Yeah, I was lying in bed scrolling through Twitter like, ‘Dang, man. Gotta see him twice a year now,” Packers receiver Randall Cobb said about his reaction to the Bears’ deal for Mack.

The primary responsibility for blocking Mack will fall to veteran right tackle Bryan Bulaga , who will be playing his first game since tearing his right ACL in November. At least Bulaga has had some time on the practice field this preseason Youth Nick Nelson Jersey , unlike Mack, who held out before being traded by the Oakland Raiders.

He might get some help at times from the Packers’ deep tight end group, reinforced during the offseason with the additions of free agent Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis to join veteran Lance Kendricks.

They’ll be tasked to give enough time to the ultimate equalizer: quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

It just wasn’t clear if Mack would be ready to play this week, though Hicks sure seemed pretty confident that his new teammate would be on the field.

“Well, that’s a really good player in his prime,” Rodgers said about Mack. “They obviously gave up some picks, but it just adds to the rivalry now that we get to see him twice a year.”

Other notes and things to watch for the game:

GRAHAM’S DEBUT: Graham, who signed as a free agent from Seattle, has already shown chemistry with Rodgers. The 6-foot-7 tight end could offer an enticing target especially in the red zone . Defenses may have to decide whether to pay more attention to Graham over the middle or receiver Davante Adams on the outside.

“He can do it all over the field,” Rodgers said of Graham. “He’s got a wide, wide catch radius and there are a lot of things he can do.”

TAKE TWO: The Bears made big moves in the offseason to get the most out of prized quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Whether he can deliver remains to be seen .

“Everything that I saw and went through last year is going to help make me more comfortable this year,” Trubisky said.

Trubisky threw for 2,193 yards in 12 games last season after Chicago traded up a spot to draft him with the No. 2 overall pick. But he also had as many interceptions as touchdown passes while compiling a 77.5 rating that was about the same as Mike Glennon’s (76.9).

ON THE CORNER: The Packers revamped their cornerback group in the offseason, bringing back veteran Tramon Williams while taking rookies Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson with their first two picks in the draft. They’ve shown playmaking promise in training camp. Last year’s second-round pick, Kevin King, is also healthy again after missing time during his rookie year with a shoulder injury. The 6-foot-5 King has the length and speed to play press coverage on the edge.

ROBINSON RETURNS: The Bears are counting on Trubisky to make big gains in first-year coach Nagy’s offense. They also gave him some new options Zach Hyman Jersey , including former Jacksonville Pro Bowl receiver Allen Robinson. He returns to the field after tearing his left ACL in his left knee during last year’s opener with Jaguars. Signed by the Bears in March, Robinson did not catch pass in the preseason.

MILESTONES: The NFC North rivalry goes back to 1921, with Green Bay holding a 96-94-6 edge. The game will also open up the 100th season in the history of the Packers. The Bears are opening their 99th season.

LATROBE, Pa. (AP) Pittsburgh Steelers starting left guard Ramon Foster’s right knee injury isn’t as bad as initially feared.

Foster was injured Saturday and left the team’s first padded practice of training camp on a golf cart. Head coach Mike Tomlin said Sunday that Foster had his knee evaluated and the injury won’t require surgery.

Tomlin offered no additional details on the injury or a timetable on Foster’s recovery, but team president Art Rooney II said the Steelers are hopeful to have Foster back in time for the regular season.

Regardless, it appears as if the Steelers won’t lose their starting left guard for an extended period of time.

”I never speculate,” Tomlin said. ”I’m always hopeful, (and) I was that. So, we got relatively good news.”

The Steelers’ offensive line depth took a hit in the spring when they lost former fourth-round pick Jerald Hawkins to a torn quadriceps.

It didn’t look good for the Steelers when their most seasoned member of the offensive line went down on Saturday. Foster lay on the grass, holding his right knee after Landry Jones tossed an incomplete pass to Antonio Brown.

”It’s always a tough moment when someone goes down, especially in practice,” left tackle Alejandro Villanueva said.

Ben Roethlisberger was on one knee next to Foster, while injured linebacker Ryan Shazier and other teammates gathered.

”Ramon is a key guy and a key figure on this team,” guard B.J. Finney said. ”I think it did kind of jolt everybody, but it made everybody realize that you’re only one play away from playing.”

Foster, who enters his 10th season Youth Weston Richburg Jersey , has been a consistent force on the offensive line.

He has appeared in 130 games with 115 starts since 2009, most on the team during that span. Some players looked visibly shaken on the field as a steady stream of veterans, including the starting offensive line, checked in on Foster before he left practice on a cart.

”Everybody loves Ramon and everybody wants him back,” Finney said. ”But it’s the mentality that the next guy’s gotta come up and we’ve gotta keep things going.”

That’s where Finney steps in. Finney might not be a household name, but he has been effective with the Steelers.

Finney, who enters his third season, has appeared in 27 games with seven starts, including four last season. He started for Foster at left guard Oct. 15 against Kansas City, and helped Le’Veon Bell rush for 179 yards, tied for the 10th-most single-game rushing yards in team history.

”B.J.’s got experience, which is key in this league,” right guard David DeCastro said. ”He’s played some big snaps for us.”

In his first career start at left guard in 2016, Finney was part of an offensive line that helped Bell rush for 144 yards and Roethlisberger throw for 300 yards and five touchdowns. That same season, he started for Foster at Buffalo and helped Bell rush for a team-record 236 yards.

”I don’t want the other guys to suffer from me coming in, so my mentality is to always make sure I’m not going to bring everybody down or hold anybody up Jimmy Vesey Jersey ,” Finney said.

Finney landed a spot with the Steelers after signing as an undrafted rookie free agent. It was a similar story in college as Finney was a walk-on at Kansas State, and finished as one of just three players in school history to earn all-conference honors four straight years.

Finney has proven reliable in Pittsburgh at both guard spots and center.

”It’s not a new thing for me, so I know that I can play at this level and I can do a good job filling in when I have to,” Finney said.

Finney is going to have to fill in as the Steelers starting left guard, at least until Foster returns.

”It’s really tough,” DeCastro said of Foster’s injury. ”A guy that’s been here that long, and part of the group that we have, it’s difficult, but luckily it’s not too bad and he’ll be back.”

NOTES: S Morgan Burnett missed his third practice with a hamstring injury. … WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (undisclosed), OLB T.J. Watt (hamstring), TE Vance McDonald (foot), S Sean Davis (groin), and LB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi all left Sunday’s practice early.

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