NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings


  • Per the Athletic’s Adam Jahns, Bears second-round CB Jaylon Johnson said he’s been cleared to fully practice and has been told he will start in Week 1 against the Lions. 
  • As a rookie starter, Johnson understands what he’s in for this year: “I would expect every quarterback to go after the rookie.” (Jeff Dickerson)
  • Free agent DT Damon Harrison posted on Twitter that the Bears are an option for him. 


New Lions RB Adrian Peterson has had an immediate impact in Detroit — on his teammates. Lions RB Kerryon Johnson asked on Twitter if it would be cool if he took a picture with Peterson and Lions C Frank Ragnow, who grew up a Vikings fan in Minnesota, gushed about how cool it was to get to block for Peterson. 

“I was freaking out so much,” Ragnow said via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “What year was he drafted, what was it like [2007] or something like that? I think I got a jersey right when he entered the league and I remember, A.D., All Day baby. I remember him running for 296 [yards] vs. the Chargers. I mean, wild. Just wild. I can’t even describe it. My family’s freaking out, all my friends back home are freaking out. It’s pretty cool.”

Johnson and Lions second-round RB D’Andre Swift are both banged up a little bit, so it’s possible Peterson could be thrown in right out of the gate in Week 1 against the Bears, a team he’s historically dominated. Lions HC Matt Patricia was coy about their plans, though. 

“You know, we’ll see,” Patricia said via the Detroit News’ Justin Rogers. “It’s Monday and he just got here so we’ll see how everything goes.”



Vikings HC Mike Zimmer has been with the team since 2014. Vikings GM Rick Spielman has been with the team for far longer but the two still have yet to see Minnesota make the playoffs in back-to-back years since 2008 and 2009 and the Vikings have lost in the conference championship twice. The defense under Zimmer has regularly been good and the team believes in QB Kirk Cousins, but there were rumors about the pair’s job stability if Vikings ownership thought they plateaued. Instead, the two signed extensions this year, as the Wilf family thinks the team is closer to putting it together. 

“You have to balance the fact that you want to have stability in an organization, you want to make sure that the systems are in place, the comfort level is in place, but everybody knows you’re only judged by your wins and losses,” Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf said via ESPN’s Courtney Cronin. “We feel really good about the football organization we have in place, that they can get the job done. Right now that’s where we’re at. Again, as ownership you balance those things, but to be knee-jerk and to be too impulsive – our goal is to get to the playoffs, achieve sustained success and keep knocking at the door, and eventually that door will come down.

“I think we’ve proven over these past few years that our football success has improved, but again, we know what our ultimate goal is. But you can’t get to that goal unless you’re consistently strong, consistently in the playoffs, consistently winning divisions, and those are our goals to leap off and eventually get to the championship.”

  • Wilf declined to elaborate on playoff wins or lack thereof as a measure of success for Zimmer and Spielman: “It certainly factors in, but I’m not going to get into a litmus test of, ‘If you win this game, that happens.’ It’s a body of work. It’s a composite of how we’ve done as a whole.” (Ben Goessling)
  • Zimmer doesn’t anticipate new DE Yannick Ngakoue having a hard transition to their defense: “He was in a 4-3 last year. He just stood up. I don’t think that’s a big deal. He’s been very, very receptive. He’s been staying long at night trying to catch up on all the different calls and defensive plays and things like that.” (Cronin)
  • Minnesota currently has just two safeties on the active roster but Zimmer said the team has a plan to ensure depth at the position. (Chris Tomasson)

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