NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky‘s mistake-riddled performance in the season opener against the Packers reignited questions about the young passer’s potential. In an effort to try and help Trubisky put his mistakes behind him and move on to Week 2’s game against the Broncos, the team prevented him from answering any question’s about last Thursday’s game. 

One reporter asked about a specific play. Trubisky turned to the team spokesman before answering the question, who shook his head and said, “No.”

“I was told not to talk about the last game,” Trubisky then said via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune.

“All the mistakes we made, they’re all fixable,” is all Trubisky said about the 10-3 loss to the Packers. “So we’re going to come in here with solutions, come in with a positive work attitude and go to work. And make sure we’re bouncing around at practice today, fixing our mistakes and moving on to the next game.”

  • The Chicago Tribune’s Dan Wiederer says the Bears’ concerns about Trubisky’s confidence are “very real” and the team is worried about his ability to “steady the boat” if Chicago loses to Denver on the road this week. 
  • Wiederer adds the team is worried other players on the team could start to lose confidence in Trubisky and that Week 2 is trending toward a “must-win” game.
  • Bears DL Eddie Goldman (oblique) was limited in practice but should be fine for Sunday’s game, per HC Matt Nagy. (Kevin Fishbain)
  • Nagy said he was encouraged by TE Trey Burton‘s progress but would wait until the weekend to make a determination on his availability: “He did have a good day yesterday. … When we get to the weekend, we’ll see exactly where he’s at.”
  • Burton said he felt good enough to play last Thursday but the coaches wanted to continue to be cautious after two separate and unrelated groin injuries: “I’m hoping that by Sunday I’ll be good and that I’ll be able to have a say, and I’m good to go and that. But like I said, every day is a different day and some days I feel really good and some days I don’t feel good at all.” (Adam Jahns)

Lions

Lions first-round TE T.J. Hockenson blew up on Sunday against the Cardinals, catching six passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. It was the most yardage ever for a rookie tight end, which makes sense since Hockenson seems more like a seasoned veteran to his teammates. 

“You’re talking about T.J. He doesn’t come across as a rookie,” Thomas said via Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press. “He’s well-vetted in the way he plays, his knowledge of the game and the way he prepares. I don’t you can sense any pressure, or will sense any frustration in him. He’s pretty much got it down.”

  • According to DetroitNews.com’s Justin Rogers, the Lions could save $6.1 million by releasing OT Ricky Wagner in 2020 and $9 million by doing it in 2021 if Wagner continues to struggle like he did Sunday. 
  • Lions OT Taylor Decker has a good chance of playing out his fifth-year option in 2020, per Rogers.
  • Rogers doesn’t believe the team will shift safety and returner Jamal Agnew to offense. 
  • Lions signed RB Nick Brossette to their practice squad. (NFLTR)
  • Lions released RB David Williams from their practice squad.

Packers

Packers WR Davante Adams says the team isn’t pushing the panic button after scoring only 10 points in the season opener and the debut of their new offense. Adams adds he’d like to see improvement sooner rather than later. 

“We’ve got plenty of time,” Adams said via Mike Spofford of the team’s website. “I try not to think about that — we’ve got time — because that tends to make people drag their feet. I’m an urgent guy. I like to get better quick. I like to see results fast.”

  • Per ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Packers DC Mike Pettine said both LBs Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith “jumped off the tape” when he watched their tape preparing for free agency.
  • Pettine added he “would’ve been happy getting one of them” in free agency, let alone both.
  • Packers signed G Ben Braden to their practice squad. (NFLTR)

Vikings

Vikings S Anthony Harris earned a player of the week award for snatching a pair of interceptions in the season opener against the Falcons. Still, Harris is widely seen as the second-best safety on the team compared to All-Pro S Harrison Smith, who’s so good at disguising what coverage he’s playing he fools his teammates. 

“Early on, I joke around and tell people when I first got out there with him, he was doing such a great job of disguising that he’d be confusing me,” Harris said via ESPN’s Courtney Cronin.I’d kind of be questioning I if was playing the right defense or not. But now we’ve gotten in there and gotten a number of reps, it’s become a lot more fun for me to be able to play off of him and do different things on the back end.”

  • Vikings G Dakota Dozier was still a free agent and considering re-signing with the Jets when Vikings LB Anthony Barr reneged on his mega-deal to sign with the Jets. Along with the Vikings beating the Jets out for QB Kirk Cousins last year, that prompted Dozier to change his plans: “At that point, I’m a free agent and still probably leaning to going back to NY. But I saw that and I was like, ‘Hey, that’s happened before (with Kirk Cousins).” (Chris Tomasson)
  • Vikings placed WR Josh Doctson on injured reserve. (NFLTR)
  • Vikings signed TE Brandon Dillon to their practice squad. (NFLTR) 
  • Vikings activated CB Nate Meadors to their active roster. 
  • Vikings signed WR Alexander Hollins to their practice squad. 
  • Vikings waived DE Ade Aruna from injured reserve with a settlement. (NFLTR)

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