- The Athletic’s Dan Pompei discussed the Bears with other NFL scouts, who had questions about the team’s receiving corps outside the top two. Marquise Goodwin, Damiere Byrd and Breshad Perriman are competing for roles in the rest of the pecking order: “Goodwin brings speed, but he’s a little bit of an unknown coming off the (2020) opt-out….I don’t know if the group scares you, but it’s not deficient.”
- Byrd has had the most recent production, per one scout: “He’s a smart, steady, versatile guy who can play inside or outside.”
- Collectively, the scouts thought the Bears’ offensive line would be the big problem point in 2021: “The offensive line will be the story of their season. Can they hold up and give the quarterback time and create lanes for the running game?”
- The group thought tackle would be an issue, with an aging Jason Peters, Germain Ifedi, Elijah Wilkinson and fifth-round rookie Larry Borom all average at best with the potential to be much worse. Peters is a legendary player but also has been showing his age: “He was a freak at one time, but he’s gotten stiffer and slower. He’s still big and strong. I have some questions if he can man that spot all season.”
- One scout told Pompei LB Alec Ogletree has been a surprise revelation for the Bears during the preseason: “His agent was banging down every team’s door to give him a workout. We all turned him down except the Bears. Hats off to their pro department.”
- The big weakness on defense will be at cornerback, where the scouts generally thought Chicago would have been better off relying on 2020 second-rounder Jaylon Johnson as a No. 2 instead of a No. 1 this year.
- The Bears will rely on Kindle Vildor and Duke Shelley, who are unproven at best. One scout did like Vildor’s potential: “He doesn’t have prototypical size, but there is a toughness and grittiness to him to overcome minor deficiencies. He has instincts. It’s a matter of him getting experience and showing it week after week.”
- However, others thought he and Shelley were nickel corners at best: “He’d be better as an inside guy. He’s small. He and Shelley are the same guy, and it’s a big man’s game.”
- DOUBTFUL: DT Eddie Goldman (knee, ankle)
- QUESTIONABLE: S Deon Bush (shoulder), S Tashaun Gipson (back), LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe (shoulder), S Eddie Jackson (wrist), LB Khalil Mack (groin), WR Darnell Mooney (back), LB Robert Quinn (back), LS Patrick Scales (ankle)
- Lions HC Dan Campbell said LT Taylor Decker (hand) will miss “a little bit” of time after suffering an injury. (Chris Burke)
- Campell indicated that Decker injured his finger while blocking in pass protection. (Justin Rogers)
- Rogers mentions that Decker appears to be “trending toward surgery.”
- Campbell named Penei Sewell, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, and Matt Nelson as possibilities to fill in at left tackle. (Dave Birkett)
- The Lions officially hired former LS Don Muhlbach as a special assistant.
- OUT: T Taylor Decker (finger)
- QUESTIONABLE: DE Michael Brockers (shoulder), DT Levi Onwuzurike (hip), CB A.J. Parker (shoulder), DE Nicholas Williams (elbow)
- Campbell refused to comment on “internet rumors” surrounding Lions RB D’Andre Swift being involved in an open homicide case in Philadelphia: “That’s just internet rumors I don’t feel I need to comment on right now.” (Mike Garafolo)
- Garafolo, citing sources, confirms that Swift is not under investigation and there is “no indication” that the Lions’ running back is a suspect.
- Garafolo adds that Philadelphia Police have declined to comment on the matter regarding Swift.
Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers believes that S Darnell Savage is going to have a strong season for the team this year in the team’s new defense.
“I think certain guys might see more opportunities than maybe they have in the past. One guy in particular Darnell Savage, I think has had a fantastic camp,” Rodgers told Larry McCarren of Packers.com. “I think this defense really fits him. He’s able to be a lot rangier. You look at his skill set, extremely athletic and fast, can cover sideline to sideline, but he’s got good instincts as well. So I think this is going to allow him to be in a position to make a lot more plays.”
- OUT: S Vernon Scott (hamstring)
- QUESTIONABLE: DT Tyler Lancaster (back), LB Za’Darius Smith (back)