NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Vikings


  • Bears TE Trey Burton was limited again in practice Tuesday. Bears HC Matt Nagy said Burton would likely be a game-time decision, per the Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain.
  • Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune says the Bears will try to take it slow with Burton in order to maximize their investment given the contract they signed him to in free agency last year. Biggs notes Burton has $4 million of his $6.7 million 2020 base salary becomes guaranteed on March 15 of that year, which could become important if Burton can’t stay healthy.
  • Biggs mentions the Bears could release rookie UDFA TE Dax Raymond (concussion) from injured reserve with a settlement and try to bring him back to the practice squad after the waiting period.
  • Depending on his medical situation and interest in being a backup, former Texans OT Matt Kalil could be an option for the Bears, per Biggs.


Lions LBs coach Al Golden made it clear that Lions’ second-round LB Jahlani Tavai has not inherited Jarrad Davis‘ role after he suffered a leg injury in Week 3 of the preseason. 

Everybody’s making it sound like it’s a swap, one-for-one here. It’s not,” Golden said, via Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press. “There’s a bigger picture involved. The game plan is going to be different each week. So whenever J.D. gets back, he gets back. But until that time, we knew this is part of the game.”

Regarding Davis’ injury, Golden said the Lions will need players to “step up” on a leadership standpoint. 

Collectively, we have to answer the bell, not just on the field but in the leadership capacity,” said Golden. “We’re going to need some other guys to step up. I know they’re willing to do so. It’s not going to be just on one individual.


  • According to Chris Tomasson, the Vikings were already well acquainted with WR Josh Doctson, who they considered drafting in the first round in 2016. Vikings HC Mike Zimmer called Doctson a “great jumper and athletic,” adding they talked to QB Kirk Cousins who was with Doctson in Washington: 
  • Zimmer said Vikings CB Mike Hughes is “getting real close” to returning to play. (Ben Goessling)
  • Vikings OT Brian O’Neill, who injured his arm August 5, is expected to play in Week 1 against the Falcons. (Andrew Krammer)
  • Zimmer called the backup center position “fluid” after the team released Brett Jones, saying G Pat Elflein would slide over to center if rookie starter Garrett Bradbury got hurt. (Courtney Cronin)

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