NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

While Chicago seems to have momentarily fixed its kicking woes, with offseason kicking competition winner Eddy Pineiro nailing a game-winning 53-yard field goal on Sunday, the Bears’ offense continues to struggle. Chicago’s 19 points are tied for the second-fewest in the NFL. 

“We want to figure this thing out,” Bears HC Matt Nagy said, via Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune. “We have time to do that. And we feel like we will. . . . Eventually, it’ll crack. And when it does, I think it’s going to be pretty good.”

  • Per the Athletic’s Adam Jahns, Bears DT Bilal Nichols has a broken hand and is out for Monday’s game against the Redskins. 
  • Nagy reiterated he doesn’t think Nichols will need to go on injured reserve and could potentially play with a club on his hand. 

Lions

New Lions RB Paul Perkins said that while he knows “nothing” about the team’s offense, he’s excited that Detroit moves the ball around. 

“I know nothing,” Perkins said via Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press. “I just got here yesterday and we just started stuff today. I’m going to go home and look over some stuff. But the offense seems pretty dope and it seems it can get a lot of guys the ball.”

Lions HC Matt Patricia praised Perkins’ speed and ability to get to the edge. 

Looking through the preseason, he runs hard, he runs very explosive downhill, but he has a skill set that can do a couple different things,” Patricia said. “He has enough speed to kind of get the edge if he needs to, he can get down inside if he needs to.”

  • The Detroit News’ Justin Rogers writes that Lions DL Damon Harrison, Mike Daniels and Trey Flowers could all still be working back into shape, as each missed a significant portion of camp and the preseason rehabbing injuries. 
  • Rogers observes it’ll be interesting to see when or if the Lions go back to S Jamal Agnew as a returner given his ball security issues early on. 
  • Rogers notes Perkins made RB C.J. Anderson expendable given his ability on special teams and the latter’s struggles. 

Packers

  • Per the Athletic’s Matt Schneidman, Packers HC Matt LaFleur said TE Jimmy Graham‘s groin injury shouldn’t be an issue long-term: “I think in the long run, he’ll be alright.”
  • The Packers promoted TE Evan Baylis to the active roster in case Graham can’t play Sunday. (NFLTR)
  • LaFleur says he will continue to rotate Lane Taylor and second-round rookie Elgton Jenkins at left guard while the two continue to compete. (Silverstein)
  • Packers DC Mike Pettine said of first-round DE Rashan Gary: “He’s close. But it’s frustrating — I know it’s frustrating for him, too. He’s doing some good things. It just hasn’t paid off for him yet.” (Matt Schneidman)
  • Packers ST coordinator Shawn Mennenga mentioned that CB Tremon Smith and WR Darrius Shepherd will return kicks and punts on Sunday, but he didn’t say who will handle what role. 

Vikings

A day after Vikings QB Kirk Cousins said he wouldn’t be starting much longer if he continued to play poorly, HC Mike Zimmer affirmed the team’s confidence in Cousins.

“He’s going to be fine,” Zimmer said via ESPN’s Courtney Cronin. “We have the utmost confidence in him. He’s in a good place where he’s going to play good this week and continue to play good for the rest of the year.”

  • In an interview with NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero, the 63-year-old Zimmer said he wants to coach at least until he’s 70. 
  • According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Ben Goessling, the Vikings would need to do some financial shuffling to fit Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey‘s $3.634 million salary under the cap in a trade. 

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