NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings


  • Bears HC Matt Nagy is hopeful first-round QB Justin Fields will play vs. Minnestoa: “He’s put a lot of time and effort into this year. Into developing and becoming better as a quarterback. What this will enable him to do is finish on a high note.” (Sean Hammond)


  • According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Lions have seen enough encouraging signs from HC Dan Campbell in his first season despite the poor win/loss record to bring him back for another year. 
  • Campbell said fourth-round WR Amon-Ra St. Brown is already a reliable weapon for the team: “He’s a steady, reliable player. It’s one thing to do it once, and you feel a bit better after twice. But when you start stacking ‘em like he is, that’s a consistent player – that’s a productive, consistent player. Those guys are hard to find.” (Chris Burke)


  • NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo reports Packers OLB Za’Darius Smith is vaccinated and now back rehabbing with the team, aiming to be ready for the playoffs.
  • Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said his toe is getting better and he should be fully healthy after the playoff bye week: “I feel like there’s a legitimate chance I could practice two days this week … and then without any issues in Detroit, I feel like we’re getting really close (to 100% with the toe).” (Matt Schneidman)
  • Rodgers added he expects all the team’s top players to play in Detroit: “I’m gonna play next week.” (Schneidman)
  • Rodgers believes Smith, CB Jaire Alexander, LT David Bakhtiari and second-round C Josh Myers are all close to returning: “I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn that there’s a possibility for all four of those guys (to return).” (Schneidman)
  • Packers HC Matt LaFleur said it would be “ideal” for Bakhtiari to play at least a few snaps against Detroit before the start of the playoffs, but at the very least he should practice this week. (Ryan Wood)


  • Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press reports the NFL fined Vikings S Harrison Smith $12,875 for unsportsmanlike conduct last week.
  • The Vikings were discussing starting third-round QB Kellen Mond but opted for experience with QB Sean Mannion. The team is also well-aware of how badly top picks have struggled this year at the quarterback position. (Jeremy Fowler)
  • Vikings HC Mike Zimmer said he didn’t think about playing Mond more to see him vs. another NFL team: “Not particularly…I see him every day (in practice).” (Chris Tomasson)
  • Vikings CB Patrick Peterson thinks Zimmer should remain the team’s head coach: “I believe Zim is a great head coach, has a great connection with his team. A lot of the (close) games that we weren’t able to finish, that’s not a coaching problem. I think Zim is definitely the man for the job.” (Will Ragatz)

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