NFC North Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings



  • Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Bears LB Roquan Smith is accompanying the team to London for their game against the Raiders. 
  • Rapoport adds that this is a “good sign” Smith returns to the lineup this weekend after dealing with some recent personal issues. 
  • The Bears announced Thursday that WR Taylor Gabriel and OL Ted Larsen are not traveling with the team to London and have been ruled out for Sunday.



Packers QB Aaron Rodgers would not rule out WR Davante Adams (toe) returning for Week 5.

“Nothing really surprises me with ’17,’’ Rodgers said, via Mike Spofford of the team’s official site. “He’s one of those rare guys who just has that toughness about him and the ability to play through stuff.”

Rodgers also praised RT Bryan Bulaga‘s ability to play through pain. 

“It’s nice seeing ‘75’ out there. I think his grumpy nature sometimes is also what makes him so tough, because he has such high expectations for himself to be on the field and play and play through pain, and he’s backed that up his entire career, doing that year after year. I give him a lot of credit for that.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer mentions Packers DC Mike Pettine as someone who could draw head coaching interest this offseason. 


Vikings WRs Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs have made waves in recent days expressing their unhappiness with the state of the Vikings offense. Another weapon on the offense, TE Kyle Rudolph, has seen his passing game role reduced. However, Rudolph seems to be embracing his new role as a primarily-blocking tight end. 

“I’m focused on whatever my job is. To this point, my job has been blocking — blocking a lot,” Rudolph said via Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “I go to guys like Jim Kleinsasser, guys I’ve been around in past Rhett Ellison, David Morgan. Trying to do them proud. If that’s what they want me to do in this offense, and that’s going to help us win games, that’s what I have to do, whether blocking Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd all game or the 4th-overall pick from the Raiders.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer mentions Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski as someone who interviewed well for the head coaching job with the Browns last offseason but likely needs his offense to improve this year to stay alive in the 2020 coaching cycle. 
  • Vikings HC Mike Zimmer declined to comment on the situation with Diggs, calling it an “internal matter.” (Chris Tomasson)
  • Jason Fitzgerald of notes that if the Vikings were to trade Diggs, a team would require $7.15 million in cap space to take on his contract.
  • Trading Diggs would also leave the Vikings with $9 million in dead money for the 2020 season but would enable Minnesota to gain over $12.5 million in available cap space for the next two years. 

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