NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

  • Bears RB David Montgomery said he thought he suffered a much more severe groin tear initially and is thankful it wasn’t worse. He’s been easing his way back at practice: “I didn’t do much in practice yesterday. Wanna be safe.” (Stacey Dales)

Lions

  • Per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Lions HC Matt Patricia said WR Kenny Golladay popped up with a hamstring injury and the team wants to be careful with it. 
  • Patricia reiterated it was a new injury for Golladay and not an old issue: “Nope. For us, it was just something that happened yesterday, and we were just trying to make sure we did a good job of taking a look at it.” (Adam Caplan)
  • Lions RB Adrian Peterson said two or three teams reached out but he was drawn to a reunion with Lions OC Darrell Bevell: “I felt like it was a great opportunity for me to come in and contribute.” (Kyle Meinke)
  • Peterson added they’re still figuring exactly what his role is going to be: “They’re asking me to do a lot … what the obvious is what I’ve done for 14 years, run the ball well.” (Birkett)
  • Lions TE T.J. Hockenson said his ankle is back to 100 percent. (Meinke)

Packers

The overwhelming initial reaction when the Packers traded up to take QB Jordan Love in the first round was shock. It quickly turned to speculation about how starting QB Aaron Rodgers would react to the team drafting his likely replacement over more help for a team that was one game from the Super Bowl, especially given some of the history regarding Rodgers’ attitude in Green Bay. But Packers HC Matt LaFleur said there have been no problems so far even as he acknowledged there was potential for it to be awkward. 

“You have to have honest conversations that aren’t always the easiest conversations,” LaFleur said via Yahoo Sports’ Terez Paylor. “I will say this: I could not be more impressed with how Aaron’s handled this whole situation. You know, he came back and I can tell he’s put the work in throughout the course of the offseason. He’s playing at a really high level.”

Perhaps motivated by his own experience being drafted behind a Hall of Fame quarterback and team legend, Rodgers has gone out of his way to be welcoming to Love during training camp. 

“I know it’s not his job or his responsibility,” LaFleur said, “but if you could see him in the meeting room, not only for Jordan but for Tim [Boyle] as well, he’s been an incredible mentor. I mean, he coaches those guys up. He gives them some finer details that, as coaches, you may not even think about from the player perspective. And it’s been awesome to see. He’s really taken both those guys and really helped them.”

As for why the team elected to make the pick and basically start the clock on Rodgers’ tenure with the team, Packers GM Brian Gutekunst seemed to suggest it was just too much value for the team to pass up. 

“We’ve been really fortunate around here to win a lot of games in the last 25 years for a lot of reasons,” Gutekunst said. “But the two main consistencies we’ve had is two Hall of Famers at quarterback during that period of time. We just understand the importance of that position.”

  • In an interview with PackersNews.com’s Pete Dougherty, Gutekunst said carrying the cap hits for both Rodgers and Love in 2021 and 2022 is “not an issue.”
  • Per the Athletic’s Matt Schneidman, Packers OLB Za’Darius Smith says he and OLB Preston Smith have been so impressed by OLB Rashan Gary that he might have to change his name: “I think it could be a trio. We might have to change his last name.”

Vikings

  • According to ESPN’s Courtney Cronin, issues with how the deal is structured in terms of guarantees have been one of the factors holding up extension talks between the Vikings and RB Dalvin Cook
  • Cronin also notes if Cook plays out the 2020 season and is franchise-tagged by Minnesota in 2021, it would likely be for less than he would have gotten had he taken the Vikings’ offer in August. The RB tag is looking like it could be around $8 million. 
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