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NFC Notes: Bucs, Lions, Packers, Panthers & Vikings

Buccaneers

Lions

  • Michael Rothstein of ESPN does not have high expectations for LB Kyle Van Noy to start, but is still in the mix for a starting strongside linebacker spot.
  • Rothstein expects RB Theo Riddick to have a role in the offense, though he is behind Joique Bell and Ameer Abdullah on the depth chart.
  • Rothstein could see Riddick as a two-minute back, or as a slot receiver.
  • QB Dan Orlovsky is expected to be apart of the Lions 53-man roster this season, barring injury.
  • However, Rothstein could see the Lions releasing Orlovsky if QB Kellen Moore attains the No. 2 role.

Packers

  • Rob Demovsky of ESPN writes that second-round rookie CB Quinten Rollins looks capable of defending the slot and outside, while first-round rookie S Damarious Randall looks better suited for outside duties only.
  • Fourth-round rookie ILB Jake Ryan is not expected to start, but has shown “natural” talent in pass coverage and blitzing.
  • Demovsky expects WR Jeff Janis to have the No. 4 receiver role, but does not count out third-round rookie WR Ty Montgomery.
  • Undrafted rookie RB John Crockett will have to beat second-year RB Rajion Neal to make the 53-man roster.

Panthers

  • David Newton of ESPN expects the Panthers to get an extension in place for ILB Luke Kuechly, and could see a deal getting done before the start of the season.
  • CB Josh Norman, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, is also viewed as a “priority.”
  • While there are not large injury concerns for the team, WR Kelvin Benjamin‘s multiple hamstring injuries is “something to keep an eye on.”
  • According to Newton, consistency has been a “major” issue for DE Kony Ealy, while the No. 2 defensive end spot will come down to Ealy and Frank Alexander.

Vikings

  • According to Matt Goessling of ESPN, veteran CB Terence Newman will start training camp as the left cornerback, because they do not want to “rushTrae Waynes into the lineup and that they are not “sold” on Josh Robinson.
  • HC Mike Zimmer said that Waynes appeared “unsure” of where to lineup at during offseason activities.
  • Goessling has drawn concern from Robinson’s injury that occurred between OTAs and minicamp.
  • Zimmer expects LB Anthony Barr (knee), LE Brian Robison (pectoral), and RT Phil Loadholt (pectoral) to be ready for minicamp.

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