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Top wide receiver Marques Colston is out for at least the next four weeks with a broken collar bone, suffered during the Saints loss against the Green Bay Packers last night.

With the NFL, addressing safety concerns, instituting a new rule that has moved the kickoff line up 5 yards to the 35-yard line, there’s an additional risk for returners beyond typical hazards that include coverage men targeting them on seek-and-destroy missions.

The defending Super Bowl champion Packers stopped the Saints at the one yard line on the final play of the game and escaped from Lambeau Field on Thursday night with a 42-34 season-opening wing-dinger at Green Bay.

That’s the kind of production the Saints have come to expect from the 32-year-old, and the reason they need to move forward with their contract negotiations. Earlier this week, ESPN reported that the Saints failed to get a deal done before the start of the season, leaving lingering uncertainty for a player whose six-year, $60 million contract expires at the end of the season.

 

At Green Bay, New Orleans played without top defensive end Will Smith, who is suspended for the first two games because of a 2008 positive test for a banned substance. However, Saints defenders agreed that Smith’s absence did not excuse things like missed tackles and improper angles of pursuit to the ball.

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Tags: 2011 NFL Opening Game Aaron Rodgers Clay Matthews Drew Bress Green Bay Packers Jermichael Finley Lambeau Field Mark Ingram New Orleans Saints New Orleans Saints At Green Bay Packers 2011 NFL Olin Kreutz Sean Payton Zach Strief