NFL PREVIEWS |

Preview: Colts at Bears


The Andrew Luck Era will begin in earnest on Sunday as the top overall pick of the 2012 draft leads the Indianapolis Colts into historic Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears. The Colts' brass felt the time was right to let stud quarterback Peyton Manning depart in favor of Luck, who has seamlessly stepped into the team's system after excelling at Stanford. A promising preseason is just what the doctor ordered after Indianapolis limped to a 2-14 finish in 2011. The club fired Jim Caldwell and handed Chuck Pagano the task of guiding the Colts through their transition phase.

While growing pains are expected in Indianapolis, Chicago is entertaining lofty expectations as talented wide receiver Brandon Marshall attempts to recreate his undeniable chemistry with former Denver Broncos teammate and current Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Chicago also boasts an impressive backfield. Versatile Matt Forte, who signed a four-year, $32 million deal in the offseason, will join backup Michael Bush in providing a 1-2 punch - with the latter expected to take care of the goal-line responsibilities.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Bears -9.5. O/U: 43.

ABOUT THE COLTS (2011: 2-14): Although Luck has proven veteran wideout Reggie Wayne at his disposal, the remainder of his receiving corps is learning on the fly as well. Luck will see a familiar face in fellow Stanford tight end Coby Fleener, who will have a homecoming on Sunday. The Illinois native is expected to join Dwayne Allen in a two tight-end set. Donald Brown, who has been elevated to the role of starter, rushed for a career-best 645 yards and five touchdowns last year.

ABOUT THE BEARS (2011: 8-8): Although injuries to Cutler and Forte derailed the Bears' postseason aspirations last season, there are high hopes for Lovie Smith's charges in 2012. For Chicago to succeed, Brian Urlacher will need to be on the field. The eight-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker sprained his medial collateral ligament and posterior cruciate ligament in last year's season finale. Urlacher went through a full practice Wednesday and is expected to play Sunday, although he may see limited time.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Marshall may see a familiar face when he lines up on Sunday. Former Dolphins cornerback Vontae Davis joined the Colts in the offseason.

2. Colts WR Austin Collie has been cleared to play after overcoming his fifth concussion since the start of the 2010 season.

3. Chicago won the team's last meeting during the 2008 Kickoff Weekend. Forte raced 50 yards for a touchdown and linebacker Lance Briggs returned a fumble 21 yards for a score as the Bears posted a 29-13 victory on Sept. 7, 2008.

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Soldier Field
Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Capacity: 61,500

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Last Injuries

Chicago Bears

  • Jordan Lucas

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Lucas is on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list and will sit out the duration of the 2020 season due to a personal decision.

  • Tre Roberson

    Foot
    I-R | I-R

    Roberson has reverted to the Injured Reserve/Non-Football Injury list after passing through waivers with a broken foot.

  • John Jenkins

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Jenkins has landed on the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list and will miss an extended period.

Indianapolis Colts

  • Rolan Milligan

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Milligan has let the team that he has ruled himself out of the entire 2020 season due to a personal decision, and his name has emerged on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list.

  • Marvell Tell III

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Tell III has decided to sit out for the duration of the 2020 season due to a personal reason. The team has put him on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list as a result.

  • Skai Moore

    Personal
    I-R | I-R

    Moore has wound up on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list after informing the team that he will sit out the entire 2020 season due to a personal decision.

  • Mo Alie-Cox

    Thumb
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Alie-Cox has been designated for the active PUP list as he is working his way back from thumb surgery, and the severity of the ailment has yet to be announced.

  • T.Y. Hilton

    Hamstring
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Hilton has hit on the Non-Football injury list while healing from a mild hamstring injury. It is unclear when he will return to the field.