The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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November 5, 2013

Bears knock out Rodgers, Packers

(Continued)

All are 5-3.

“It’d be hard to find one better than this,” said McCown, who was coaching high school when the Bears signed him two years ago. “They’re all special, but this is really neat because it means so much to our team.”

The loss spoiled another big night by Green Bay rookie Eddie Lacy, who ran for 150 yards and a touchdown.

Green Bay has been hit hard by injuries, with wide receiver James Jones (knee) returning Monday night after a two-game absence and sackmaster Clay Matthews (thumb) and tight end Jermichael Finley still out. Wide receiver Randall Cobb (leg) is also on the injured list-designated to return, and offensive lineman T.J. Lang (concussion) and linebacker Andy Mulumba (ankle) left the game.

But there are injuries and then there are INJURIES, and a hurt Aaron Rodgers is Green Bay’s ultimate nightmare.

With the 2011 NFL MVP almost as durable as predecessor Brett Favre — he hasn’t missed a game because of injury since Dec. 19, 2010 — the backup quarterback has been the most anonymous person in Green Bay.

“Aaron’s a huge part of our offense,” McCarthy said. “This is a thing that’s been built over time with Aaron as the centerpiece. I don’t think it’s realistic to put anyone in there and think they’re going to pick up and run it the way he has run it.”

But as the Bears know all too well, backups can be just as invaluable as a starter.

After a series of forgettable backups under Lovie Smith — Caleb Hanie or Jonathan Quinn, anyone? — the Bears signed McCown when Cutler was hurt two years ago. He played well enough then to stick around, and his familiarity with his receivers and coach Marc Trestman’s system was evident.

McCown may not have been dazzling, going 22-for-41 for 272 yards, but he mixed his passes effectively to Marshall, Jeffery and Forte, and Forte ran roughshod on the Green Bay defense.

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