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Bears happy they activated DT Nate Collins vs. Panthers

The defensive tackle's relentless energy in practice led to his first start of the season against Carolina last Sunday.

David Banks

The Chicago Bears are pleased that they activated defensive tackle Nate Collins for last Sunday's 23-22 win over the Carolina Panthers, according to a report from Jeff DIckerson of

The 24-year-old Collins had a strong showing in training camp, but he had been listed as inactive or unavailable for each of the Bears' previous six games. The third-year tackle was suspended for Chicago's Week 1 contest for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Collins racked up three tackles in 35 plays in the Bears' win on Sunday, strengthening the middle of the team's defensive line. Bears head coach Lovie Smith chalked up Collins' activation to the tackle's effort on the practice field, telling ESPN Chicago, "I just think if you practice well, as Nate Collins has been doing ... giving us a great look, and we think he's a pretty good player. He just hasn't had an opportunity to play. Amobi Okoye has been doing some good things. Not his best work the last couple weeks, so it was as simple as that. Nate had a better week of practice and deserved an opportunity to get that uniform, and he did some good things in the game."