NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings



The Bears released K Elliott Fry and seemingly ended the competition between him and K Eddy Pineiro for the Bears starting job. However, Pineiro says he’s not relaxing just yet, as he’s still competing with kickers from all over the league even if he’s the only one currently on Chicago’s roster. 

“It doesn’t change anything,” Pineiro said via Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times. “Still gotta make kicks. If I don’t make kicks, I’m gonna be gone, like everybody else. . . . I’ve just gotta make all my kicks. With the whole kicking struggle from last year, they’ve got us on thin ice here.”

  • Because the Bears are low on the waiver priority list, if they want a kicker from another team, they’ll likely need to make a trade, per the Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain.
  • Fishbain adds the Bears are confident WR Anthony Miller will be healthy and ready for Week 1 after missing all of OTA’s and a chunk of camp. 
  • Fishbain mentions that Bears WR Allen Robinson was the best offensive player in training camp. 
  • Bears tackle-turned-TE Bradley Sowell should make the final roster, in Fishbain’s opinion. 


Lions QB Matthew Stafford has yet to play in the preseason and recently went six straight practices without participating. The team says Stafford is just getting extra maintenance work now that he’s on the other side of 30, and Stafford told reporters he’s recovered from a broken back in 2018. Lions HC Matt Patricia might hold Stafford out of the third preseason game as well, as Detroit has already had joint practices with the Patriots and Texans to get their quarterback action against other teams. 

“I feel like we get a lot of that work in during training camp,” Stafford said via’s Kyle Meinke. “We run a pretty aggressive, tough ship around here. So we get some good action in practice, and obviously the practice we got with the last two teams were really good for me.”


  • Packers HC Matt LaFleur said “we’ll see” when asked if Aaron Rodgers plays Thursday: “I don’t think it’s going to make or break us one way or another. I’ve got so much confidence in him.” (Ryan Wood)
  • Rodgers explained that his back locked up on him a little last Wednesday. He added that he wants to play on Thursday if LaFleur will let him. (Matt Schneidman)
  • Packers GM Brian Gutekunst told reporters the goal is for Rodgers to play in the team’s third preseason game Thursday against the Raiders, though he added the plans could change like they did last week. (Wood)
  • says the team dodged a potentially serious injury with TE Jimmy Graham, who left practice Sunday with a finger injury: “I’m not going to talk about injuries, but I think we might’ve escaped one right there.” (Ryan Wood)
  • LaFleur mentioned that Graham didn’t need finger surgery: “He’ll be alright.” (Matt Schneidman)
  • Gutekunst notes the Packers’ backup quarterback is likely on the roster, meaning DeShone Kizer and Tim Boyle are the likely candidates. (Wood)
  • If Rodgers isn’t able to play this preseason, Gutekunst isn’t overly concerned even if it means no game reps in the new offense before Week 1: “Football is football. It’s not like it’s a different sport.” (Wood)
  • Packers CB Kevin King is still working his way back to the field, though he’s getting closer per Gutekunst: “You’re concerned, right? Because he’s not out there right now … I think he’s getting close. He’s obviously a very talented player who can help us.” (Matt Schneidman)


Vikings WR Laquon Treadwell had four catches for 47 yards to lead the Vikings in receiving during their second preseason game. Vikings HC Mike Zimmer said the team wanted to give Treadwell a chance to show his worth given that he’s clearly on the trading block. 

“We were trying to get Treadwell the ball a little bit more in the second half, try to showcase him a little bit, I guess. And he made some nice plays,” Zimmer said via Pro Football Talk.

Treadwell’s career has not gone according to plan for the former first-round pick. He’s been buried behind both Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen and this summer lost the No. 3 receiver job to Chad Beebe. He’s still putting a positive spin on the fact that his time in Minnesota is likely nearly over. 

“I’ve been in this situation before and it’s actually kind of fun,” Treadwell said, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “It’s kind of fun like being the underdog. Nothing to really expect, so when you go out there you can just play free and kind of just prove yourself. Over the last past few years I haven’t played up to that potential, so there’s other guys who weren’t drafted and have played better than me, so over time things changed. Now it’s time for me to prove myself. Other guys have to prove themselves. Now it’s time for me to just prove myself and just go out and compete at a high level and stay locked in.”

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