NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings


Bears DC Sean Desai is putting an emphasis on the team’s defense to create turnovers, something symbolized by the team’s new “takeaway bucket”.

I think you could feel it yesterday, the vibe in practice, that they’re going after that football,” Bears HC Matt Nagy said, via Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic. “They’re tagging off, they’re trying to punch for it. I want that to happen. It’s the quarterback’s job, it’s our wide receiver’s job to make sure it doesn’t, and that’s what we’re teaching them. The guys have fun with it. It spices it up.

Bears WR Marquise Goodwin has reportedly taken most of his reps throughout camp with the starters, which is a testament to what the Bears staff feels he’s capable of bringing to their offense.

People like to say that Marquise is a track guy who plays football,” Nagy said. “That couldn’t be more opposite of what he is. He’s a phenomenal route runner with great hands and I’m excited to see him go.

  • Bears HC Matt Nagy mentioned fifth-round OT Larry Borom is playing left tackle. (Brad Biggs)
  • Nagy added there isn’t much of a timeline on RB Tarik Cohen‘s rehab: “That is very general for me. It’s all going to be day-by-day on how much growth he has or improvement. Every single day Tarik is in that training day. Every day. Days off. I just feel like he is doing everything he can to get that thing right.” (Biggs)



There’s a definite possibility that 2021 is the final year in Green Bay for QB Aaron Rodgers, as he’s secured a clear exit strategy for himself with his reworked contract. While Rodgers says he’s committed to doing what he can to win a Super Bowl in Green Bay this year, there will have to be a balancing act as he and the front office continue to try to repair the relationship. 

“I think it’s like anything,” Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “I know for Matt [LaFleur] and I, and Mark [Murphy] and Russ [Ball] as well, it’s constant communication. And we’ve done that really well here over the last few months. But I think that now that Aaron’s back in the building, we need to make sure we continue to do that with him. At the same time, I’ve always believed that once you get between the white lines and the season starts, there’s so much focus on each game, there’s not a lot of time for anything else. That’s gonna be what’s important. That’s where Matt and the team and Aaron’s focus has to be — on winning.”

Asked if the goal is to have a good season, reconcile with Rodgers and give him an extension, Gutekunst notably stopped short of committing to much. 

“Ideally, yeah, have a great year, we’ll start there,” he said. “And hopefully, over the course of a year, everybody can communicate and understand why we do the things we do and have a better understanding of where everybody is.”

Gutekunst also talked more about his failure to give Rodgers a heads up about the drafting of QB Jordan Love in 2020 which has become a popular talking point. 

“Quite frankly, if that was even a possibility, I would’ve loved to do that,” Gutekunst said. “We didn’t go into that draft thinking, ‘Hey, we’re gonna target this and do it.’ If that was the case, we probably would’ve done that. That wasn’t reality. Would that have changed anything? I don’t know if Aaron, with the issues he has, if that’s really part of it. But a player like Aaron, in a situation like that, you would’ve loved to give him a heads up. It’s just that the way this thing transpired, that wasn’t a possibility.”

  • Packers HC Matt LaFleur said second-round C Josh Myers “most likely” will start. (Ryan Wood)
  • Packers LT David Bakhtiari said he hasn’t had any setbacks in his torn ACL rehab: “I’m really itching to get back out there. I don’t like seeing other people do my job.” (Matt Schneidman)
  • Bakhtiari added he was impressed with Myers: “You’re either a terrible athlete or a bad football player because why are you playing center at 6’5.” He kind of proved me wrong on both…though I will not say he’s my favorite center from Ohio State, he’s off to a good start.” (Schneidman)
  • On OL Elgton Jenkins‘ ability to play five positions on the o-line, Bakhtiari mentioned how hard it is for someone to do that: “I think there’s only a handful of guys that can do that, and he’s part of that handful.” (Wood)
  • Jenkins said he’s focused on left tackle on his training this offseason. (Wood)


  • Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports Vikings third-round QB Kellen Mond was unvaccinated when he tested positive.
  • The Athletic’s Chad Graff reports the Vikings have one of the lowest vaccination rates in the league and at least five starters are unvaccinated. 
  • Vikings president Mark Wilf is “very concerned” with the team’s low vaccination rate. (Graff)
  • Wilf didn’t want to get too much into first-round CB Jeff Gladney‘s legal situation when asked on Tuesday. Minnesota later cut Gladney: “Obviously, allegations like these are very disturbing and something that’s concerning to us as ownership and to our organization. Right now, our GM and our coach, and we’re talking to the league and really are working through to understand this better. And as we get more information in the coming hours, we’ll let you know where we go on this. But obviously, the allegations are very disturbing.” (Chris Tomasson)

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