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'Crafty' Marshall reaches milestone

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CHICAGO – Long before he reached the NFL, Brandon Marshall learned that he could be productive as a wide receiver without racing down the sidelines on every play.

“I’m not the fastest guy,” Marshall said. “I don’t jump the highest. So, one of the things my father taught me was how to use my body and be crafty.”

Marshall’s craftiness played an important role in the Bears’ 28-10 win Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. He caught a dozen passes from Jay Cutler, none of which went for more than 17 yards and most of which came across the middle on short- to mid-range passes.

By the end of the game, Marshall had notched 92 receiving yards to lead all players. He extended his season total to 1,017 receiving yards, which made him the first Bears player with more than 1,000 receiving yards in a single season since Marty Booker in 2002.

Marshall admitted that he knew that he was closing in on franchise history. He passed the 1,000-yard mark on an 11-yard gain about halfway through the third quarter.

“In the third quarter, I learned over to Jay and I said, ‘That catch puts me at 1,000 yards for six seasons in a row,’ ” Marshall said. “And he looked at me and he said, ‘You’re disgusting.’ ”

Marshall laughed at the retort, but he turned serious when asked about exceeding 1,000 yards for three teams in his seven-season career.

“I just hope that this is the last place I catch 1,000 yards,” Marshall said. “I’m really proud to be a Bear. When I look back on my legacy as a football player, I want it to be as a Bear.”

Defending himself: Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said he did not mean to injure Bears offensive lineman Lance Louis on a vicious block early in the third quarter.

Replays showed Allen leaping off of his feet and striking Louis in the helmet during an interception return by Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield. Louis injured his knee on the play and did not return to the game.

“I thought it was a legal hit,” Allen said. “He’s running to make a tackle, so I just went to block him. I never intentionally try to hurt anybody.”

Funny guy: Cutler drew a 15-yard penalty for taunting in the first quarter when he flipped the ball to Vikings cornerback A.J. Jefferson at the end of a run out of bounds.

Cutler feigned innocence.

“I was just trying to toss him the ball gingerly and say, ‘Good job,’ and they caught me, so …,” Cutler said, trailing off to laughter.

Bears bits: The Bears could catch a break next week against the Seattle Seahawks, who might be without cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner. Both players are facing four-game suspensions for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs but plan to appeal the decision, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

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