NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers



Bears first-round LB Roquan Smith told reporters on Tuesday that his holdout was just business and he’s “happy to be here now.”

“That’s just the business side of things,” said Smith, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “It is what it is. And I’m just happy to be here now.”

  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, reports that the Bears and Smith agreed to a specific formula that gives him protection against most of the potential incidents that would occur on the playing field such as the new helmet rule.
  • According to Florio, Smith’s guarantees void only if the league office imposes a suspension of three games or more.
  • Smith can be suspended one or two games for a violation of the rules that apply during a given play with no consequence to his future guarantees.


Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes that the Lions will be hard-pressed to keep more than four of running backs on their active roster.

  • Lions second-round pick Kerryon Johnson and LeGarrette Blount are considered locks to make the teams, which leaves two spots for Theo Riddick, Ameer Abdullah, Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington.
  • Birkett admits that Abdullah seems like the top candidate for the No. 4 spot, but the Lions would likely be able to get more for him a trade than Zenner or Washington. Riddick may have more value than any of the four backs, but he’s arguably the best candidate to open the season as the Lions’ No. 3 back.
  • Based on the completed trades for running backs the past few years, Detroit may only be able to get a late-round pick for one of their backs.


Packers OLB Nick Perry, who is on the active/PUP list, says he feels like he’s ready to return to practice, but is waiting for the medical staff to give him clearance.

They’ll give the green light, and that’ll be one of the best days of my life so far right now,” Perry said, via

Perry has taken part in drills on the sideline this week. The plan is simply to ensure that he doesn’t sustain a setback regarding his surgically repaired ankle.

Just seeing some other guys go through this same process, learning from those mistakes, one of the biggest things we wanted to make sure we do is not have any setbacks,” Perry said. “Not push it too much, too early, too soon, find that right mix to where I might be a little sore, but it’s football sore.

“We haven’t had any setbacks, and we’ve been just taking it one step at a time, one day at a time, not doing too much and just finding the right balance. Right now, everything is looking great. I’m excited about taking the next step and getting on the field.

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