NFC Notes: Bears, Packers, Vikings


Bears QB Andy Dalton said he’s not focused on first-round QB Justin Fields being the fans’ preferred choice and reiterated that it’s “my time” to start

“You can’t focus on that,” Dalton said, via ProFootballTalk. “If you focus on that, that’s gonna beat you down. So I know who I am, I know who I was created to be, I know where my identity lies. And so do I want the fans behind me and this team? Yes. Do I want them behind Justin? Absolutely, I do. But that’s not my focus. I can’t focus on all that right now. Justin’s gonna have his time and Justin’s gonna have a great career, but right now it’s my time and so my focus is on being the best player I can be for this team and doing everything I can to help this team win.”

  • A team source tells Fansided’s Matt Lombardo that Fields is wowing behind the scenes, though: “This is a kid who is a really, really fast learner. He’s a big and fast guy with arm talent. The best part is, he’s getting better every day.”
  • Per Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears declined to give any explanation for DT Akiem Hicks‘ absence from practice on Tuesday. Hicks walked off the field shortly after stretching began and was spotted driving away from the facility. 
  • Hicks would like an extension to finish his career out with the Bears as he enters the final year of his contract but Wiederer notes Chicago might not be eager to give one to him. 
  • Wiederer mentions Bears RB Tarik Cohen still doesn’t look healthy moving around at the facility and on the sidelines. He remains on the PUP list as he returns from a torn ACL last year. 
  • Hicks returned to Wednesday’s practice, but HC Matt Nagy wouldn’t provide comment on what Hicks was dealing with. (Kevin Fishbain)


  • Packers QB Aaron Rodgers avoided calling 2021 a “farewell tour” with the organization, but added that he’s unsure of his future past this season: “I don’t want a farewell tour. I don’t know what’s going to happen (after this season), but I’m going to enjoy it with the right perspective.” (Rob Demovsky)
  • Rodgers acknowledged that he knew his “clock had started” in Green Bay when they selected Jordan Love in the 2020 NFL Draft: “I just knew when the pick was made that the clock had started.” (Ryan Wood)
  • Regarding Rodgers, David Bakhtiari, and Randall Cobb allegedly pushing to recruit LB veteran free-agent Clay Matthews, Rodgers said the group decided to Facetime with Matthews and it was not an urge to bring back the linebacker. (Tom Silverstein)
  • Packers HC Matt LaFleur said backup QB Jordan Love (shoulder) “threw a little bit” on Tuesday but did not participate on Wednesday: “I think we’ll test him again, but you probably will not see him in any practice reps.” (Wood)
  • Regarding Green Bay trading CB Josh Jackson to the Giants in exchange for CB Isaac Yiadom, LaFleur thinks a change of scenery will do Jackson well: “He’s a great young man, and certainly we wish him well.”  (Wood)
  • The Packers brought in QBs Donald Hammond and Quinten Dormady for workouts this week. (Demovsky)


Vikings OC Klint Kubiak said OL Oli Udoh has been getting reps at right guard and left tackle because he could play at either position. 

“He’s going to have to play both. He’s going to have to know both, he’s going to practice reps at both,” he said via ESPN’s Courtney Cronin. “Right now he’s playing a lot of guard, but Phil Rauscher is cross-training him, as well. Oli knows that. He could be a starting right guard or a starting left tackle at any time, and he has to be ready to perform. And that’s the kind of standard that we’re holding him accountable to.” 

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