NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Vikings


  • ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson writes that barring an upset, Bears second-round OT Teven Jenkins will be starting for the team at left tackle in 2021. 
  • Dickerson expects Bears WR Allen Robinson to report to training camp on time and play out the 2021 season on the tag. Dickerson wrote in the past tense about Chicago and Robinson being unable to reach a long-term deal even though they still have until July 15 to negotiate, which probably is just a slipup but is still worth noting given the general pessimistic tenor that’s surrounded those talks in the past year. 
  • Regarding when first-round QB Justin Fields will see the field, Dickerson notes the Bears are hoping veteran QB Andy Dalton wins enough games to make it a moot question but it still seems obvious Fields will play at some point in 2021. 
  • According to Adam Jahns, the Bears will host the Dolphins for joint practices before their preseason game.


Lions G Jonah Jackson said he is focused on taking care of his body and altering his diet this offseason. 

“Just taking care of my body better and being a pro in that aspect,” Jackson said, via Tim Twentyman of the team’s official site. “Handling my diet and staying on top of my weight. Just getting stronger, bigger, smarter. Trying to dial in as much as I can to help myself this next year.”

Jackson praised the maturity first-round OT Penei Sewell has shown so far through the Lions’ offseason program. 

“They say he’s a 20-year-old, but he acts like a grown man with how he handles himself,” Jackson said. “Not only the meetings but outside on the field. Definitely on the field you see why he was the No. 7 overall pick. It’s very evident and I’m excited for his future and what’s to come for him.”

Jackson stressed the importance of the Lions’ offensive line playing well in 2021 and thinks they can “be the best” group in the league. 

“It starts upfront. We’re the engine to the car,” Jackson said. “It starts with us and if we’re not clicking the rest of the operation can’t go. I’m excited to get rolling with this group. I think we can be the best. It’s just a matter of how far we want to go and how we attack each week.”

Jackson added that he’s feeling comfortable in the left guard role but will move to any position asked of him. 

“There’s definitely some comfortability playing that position (left guard) more and more now and being at the left guard next to Decker for year two,” Jackson said. “But if something happens and they need me to switch around and do whatever I need to, I’m a team player and ready for it.” 


Vikings S Harrison Smith mentioned he is excited to play with veteran DBs Patrick Peterson, Xavier Woods, Mackensie Alexander and Bashaud Breeland.

“We were pretty young at corner last year. A lot of good players but just young,” Smith said, via Ben Goessling of the Minnesota Star Tribune. “There’s not a ton of guys like Pat out there, but having a guy like that come in at corner is big, not only his play, which is top notch, but just his presence and his knowledge, he can pass on to the young guys. Obviously safeties, corners, we’re always working together, so having vets on the outside and deep and young guys, it’s a good mix and we can learn a lot from each other.”

Smith added he and Woods have worked well in practice thus far.

“Working with Xavier as well, he’s a really smart guy, so that makes it — I don’t want to say easier — but it can make things smoother when you’ve got two guys back there that can stay ahead of plays,” Smith said. “Just getting on the field and working through adjustments, even if it’s just at a walk-through pace, is good just to communicate with each other, know how guys operate. Those guys up front are often interacting with the linebackers a little more than safeties, but you want kind of a well-oiled machine.”

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