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NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Panthers, & Vikings

Bears

Lions

  • ESPN’s Michael Rothstein mentions that the Lions are expecting former second-round pick Kyle Van Noy to win the SAM linebacker job this summer over Tahir Whitehead.
  • Even though the Lions are hoping for Van Noy to win the starting job, Rothstein believes Detroit would probably start Whitehead right now.
  • According to Rothstein, Caraun Reid could very well end up being the starting defensive tackle next to veteran Haloti Ngata.
  • Lions C Tarvis Swanson will have a great deal of expectations to win the starting center job after Detroit elected to not re-sign Dominic Raiola.
  • The Lions are likely to have Jeremy Ross, rookie RB Ameer Abdullah, and possibly WR Golden Tate among others competing to be the team’s kick returner.

Panthers

  • David Newton expects Ted Ginn‘s biggest value to the Panthers in 2015 to be as a kick returner, as opposed to playing a large role as a receiver.
    Newton writes that Jonathan Stewart will be the team’s starting running back with fifth-round pick Cameron Artis-Payne likely backing him up.
  • Beyond those two, Newton expects Fozzy Whittaker and undrafted rookie Brandon Wegher to battle it out for the No. 3 job.
    This means RB Darrin Reaves could be the odd man out this summer.

Vikings

  • Ben Goessling mentions that the Vikings have indicated they plan to use Captain Munnerlyn as a nickel cornerback in 2015.
  • In the event Matt Kalil struggles again in 2015, Goessling suggests Carter Bykowski, Tyrus Thompson, Austin Shepherd and Babatunde Aiyegbusi could get a look at left tackle.
  • Minnesota’s decision to line up rookie T.J. Clemmings at right guard wasn’t an accident, according Goessling.
  • If the Vikings end up keeping five receivers like they did last year, Goessling can see Charles Johnson, Mike Wallace, Jarius Wright, Cordarrelle Patterson and Stefon Diggs all making the team.
  • This would leave WR Adam Thielen on the roster bubble.