NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

Lions

Lions’ QB Matthew Stafford may play this week after x-rays came back negative on his ribs and interim HC Darrell Bevell said the team will see how he progresses prior to their game against the Titans.

“You guys know how tough Matthew is,” Bevell said, via Kyle Meinke of mlive.com. “This will be a deal where we take it to the end of the week. He’s a little bit better this afternoon than he was this morning, so we’ll see how it goes and how he can progress.”

Bevell also confirmed CB Jeff Okudah, who is officially out for the remainder of his rookie season.

“I think he’s going to have a bright future,” Bevell said. “It’s been a tough year for him, he’s kind of in and out of the lineup a little bit with injuries, and that can happen with a young player. You have to get your body used to this grind and this type of season that you have in the National Football League. And I think he’ll only be better for what he’s gone through this year. I expect him to go out and get the surgery and come back with a renewed attitude and a renewed effort to get himself in shape to get ready to play and ready for this grind.”

  • Bevell’s plan for Stafford had not changed on Wednesday, as he added he’d be comfortable with the veteran playing without practicing: “Gonna take it to the end of the week. Gonna see how he does. I’m totally comfortable with him not practicing and (then) playing in the game, I’ve seen him do it.” (Chris Burke)
  • Stafford told reporters he has no expectations and he’s taking things day by day. (Tim Twentyman)

Packers

The Packers have spent a lot of resources searching for an answer at tight end the past few seasons. It turns out it was growing right under their noses the entire time as unheralded TE Robert Tonyan finally broke out this season. Tonyan has 46 catches for 533 yards and his nine touchdowns are tied for the NFL lead at his position. He looks to be a key contributor for years to come. 

“I think that’s a credit to him and the work he’s put in,” Packers HC Matt LaFleur said via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “I think [tight ends coach] Justin Outten does an unbelievable job with that whole room and really helps develop our players. … Really proud of the effort that Bobby has done and he’s been a big spark for us, not only in the pass game, but he’s consistently getting better in the running game as well.”

Vikings

After Vikings K Dan Bailey‘s disastrous performance Sunday, leaving 10 points on the field, HC Mike Zimmer was noncommital to him while talking with reporters, answering repeated questions about Bailey with, “We’ll see.” But Zimmer did finally offer some measure of support. 

“I don’t think we have a kicker we can’t depend on. All kinds of guys make mistakes throughout the course of a game,” he said via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

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