NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

  • Per the Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain, Bears GM Ryan Pace praised RB Tarik Cohen, who the team just signed to a three-year, $17.25 million extension after very brief negotiations: “We love his character and he’s been a spark plug for our team since we drafted him. Tarik and I both feel he’s a young, ascending player with a lot of high-level years left in this league and we are glad he will be with us in the years to come.”

Lions

The Lions zeroed in on HC Matt Patricia in part because of his perceived defensive acumen as the defensive coordinator in New England. However, the results have not followed the reputation on that side of the ball for two years and the first two games of 2020. The Lions were eviscerated by the Packers Sunday, giving up 259 yards on the ground, and still haven’t forced a turnover this season. Given the mandate from ownership at the end of last season, Patricia has to improve Detroit’s defense in order to keep his job. 

“I mean, obviously you play a game like this today, it’s a bad game and it’s not good enough and we’re trying to get better and we’re trying to do better,” Patricia said via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “I think our scheme has been really multiple. We’ve tried to just do whatever the best we could to fit the guys that we have to play at a high level. Certainly, there’s a lot of teaching and technique and fundamental work that’s involved with that. In the end, it’s just got to improve.”

  • Per NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero, Lions WR Kenny Golladay hasn’t practiced since hurting his hamstring on September 9 but Patricia said Golladay is “really close” and might be on track to play Week 3. 
  • ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Golladay is indeed expected to make his return in Week 3 against the Cardinals. 

Packers

A number of backs from a loaded 2017 class were rewarded this summer with contract extensions. But as players like Joe Mixon, Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara inked deals worth around $12 million per year, Packers RB Aaron Jones, who scored more touchdowns than all of them last season, flew more under the radar. Jones isn’t as widely recognized as those backs but he took a step toward proving he’s just as good and deserves to be paid like them on Sunday, rushing for 168 yards, adding 68 more through the air and scoring three touchdowns. 

“I think I’m close to the same caliber player as those guys,” Jones said via the Athletic’s Matt Schneidman. “I don’t know how the cap and all that works, but I do think I’m right there in the range of those guys.”

  • Packers HC Matt LaFleur told reporters after Sunday’s game that OL Billy Turner took “a lot of reps” at practice during week, but they decided to make a “long-term decision” to rest his knee today: “This is a marathon, not a sprint.” (Ryan Wood)
  • LaFleur said WR Davante Adams (hamstring) was actually trying to go back into the game Sunday: “I just told him let’s see how these next few series go and see if we need you.” (Wood)
  • Packers C Corey Linsley suffered a sprained thumb on his snapping hand in Week 2’s win against the Lions. While he won’t miss time it’s something he’ll be playing through for a bit. (Tom Pelissero)
  • Packers hosted TE Nakia Griffin-Stewart for a visit on Monday. (Albert Breer)
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Vikings

  • Per Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Vikings HC Mike Zimmer said QB Kirk Cousins wasn’t the only player who struggled on offense, saying the entire unit needs to improve: “Figure out what we’re good at and let’s start doing what we’re good [at]. Right now, we’re not very good at anything.”
  • Dr. David Chao believes Vikings LB Anthony Barr has a chance to return from his pectoral injury late in the year despite the initial season-ending diagnosis, noting how Texans DE J.J. Watt did it last year. 
  • Vikings RB Mike Boone suffered a concussion in Week 2 and had to leave the game. (Chris Tomasson)
  • Vikings hosted LB Cale Garrett for a visit on Monday. (Albert Breer)
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