Home Bears NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings


  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports X-rays on Bears first-round QB Justin Fields‘ ribs came back negative, but the short turnaround awill make it tough to play this week.


Lions HC Dan Campbell defended the team’s conservative play-calling, arguing that he wanted to keep QB Tim Boyle upright and protect him against the Browns’ pass-rush.

You want to be mindful of making sure that you’re being smart with your quarterback, but yet still having a chance to win,” Campbell said, via MLive.com. “I just felt like it was the right thing to do. I did. I thought we’d get that ball back.

Campbell continued.

Look, I get it. I’m sure there’s a lot of people that question I was too conservative, and maybe I ought to throw it a lot more,” Campbell said. “But I’m just not ready to do that with where we were at here…I just didn’t feel like it was right. I didn’t feel it was the right thing to do. Do I see myself trying to win games, you know, 14-13 or 16-13 (long term)? No. But we’ll do whatever it takes to win a game. I just felt like the right thing to do was try to run it a little bit, try to take a little stress off Tim, get him going. But yeah, look, it’s no secret. We have to be better in the pass game.”

Campbell says as Boyle gets more comfortable within the offense, he’d be more willing to open up the playbook and take more shots downfield.

We’re playing Myles Garrett here, man,” Campbell said. “I love Decker, and Decker’s a helluva player, but at some point, the more you pass it, and you allow this guy off the edge, he’s probably going to make a play, and that play could be the one that makes the difference. That’s a sack-fumble — a strip — because I’ve watched the first eight games of it, and you watch last year, (and you see a lot of it). And I don’t think that’s fair to us, and I don’t think that’s fair to Tim for this game. Now if you said Tim plays against Chicago (on Thanksgiving), I bet he’s going to be a little bit better, and I bet you can throw it a little bit more than we did. But I felt that’s the way I needed to play that game. You don’t want to go there until you have to, and when your defense is playing as well as they were playing, I just didn’t want to do it.

  • Campbell told reporters that G Jonah Jackson was flagged for saying something to a Browns defender about his mother. (Kyle Meinke)
  • Campbell on the decision to kick a field goal in the fourth quarter: “I told myself the night before, ‘Be smart.’ Hang in there. If we play this game the right way, we’re going to have an opportunity to get it back. I was close, but … felt good about our defense.” (Chris Burke)


  • Packers HC Matt LaFleur lamented OL Elgton Jenkins‘ torn ACL: “Yeah. It’s unfortunate. Certainly, Elgton has been a big part of this team. It’s just one of those deals that’s an unfortunate part of our game.” (Wes Hodkiewicz)
  • LaFleur added LT David Bakhtiari will not return this week but maintained they think he’ll play this year: “He won’t be out there this week. We’ll see where he’s at after the bye. Hope to have him back. It’s not for a lack of work.” (Hodkiewicz)
  • LaFleur mentioned the team isn’t considering moving on from K Mason Crosby: “No. I would say absolutely not.” (Matt Schneidman)


Six of the Vikings’ games this season have come down to literally the last play, including Sunday’s win against the Packers which came on a walk-off field goal that was keyed by a catch from Vikings WR Adam Thielen that Packers CB Rasul Douglas was inches away from breaking up. Minnesota is 5-5 on the year, which makes sense given close games in the NFL generally tend to even out over time to about a coin flip’s odds of going either way. But it does give the team confidence that they’re close to being much better than their record suggests. 

“That’s what I’m saying about how it’s a razor’s edge,” Thielen said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “And the difference between an incompletion and a gain that gets us down into field-goal range is an inch. And it’s felt that way every week — and some of them we won, some of them we’ve lost. But it’s great that this one went our way, and guys made plays and Adam did a tremendous job there staying in bounds and getting us down the field.”

  • Vikings HC Mike Zimmer extolled QB Kirk Cousins to stay aggressive even after he was nearly intercepted on Minnesota’s game-winning drive: “I want him to keep doing it like he’s doing it. He can’t second guess himself. If he throws an interception, that’s life. But you keep going for the jugular, it’s going to open up a lot of other areas in the running game. We’ve got to keep being that way.” (Andrew Krammer)

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