NFC Notes: Bears, Packers, Vikings


  • The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain mentions Bears LB Roquan Smith doesn’t have an agent as he finishes up the penultimate year of his deal and heads toward a contract year in 2022. 
  • Fishbain thinks the odds are pretty good that this is DT Akiem Hicks‘ final season in Chicago. Bears DT Bilal Nichols has also had a less-than-smooth contract year but Fishbain thinks there’s more of a chance 
  • Fishbain highlights Bears DT Eddie Goldman and G Cody Whitehair as potential cap casualties to monitor this offseason. 
  • Bears HC Matt Nagy said OC Bill Lazor, DC Sean Desai and ST coordinator Chris Tabor will all miss Week 15 due to COVID-19, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. 
  • Dan Wiederer, also of the Tribune, notes Nagy will likely assume play-calling duties in Week 15 if Lazor is unavailable, while senior defensive assistant Mike Pettine could take over defensive coordinator duties if Desai is out. 
  • Nagy said they plan to keep second-round OT Teven Jenkins at left tackle. (Fishbain)
  • Nagy indicated veteran LT Jason Peters suffered a high ankle sprain but they currently do not plan on placing him on injured reserve. (Biggs)


While making an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said that he doesn’t think his fractured pinkie toe will prevent him from playing. 

“It’s not going be a problem, I don’t think,” Rodgers said. “It’s not going to stop me from playing, it’s just pain management.”

Rodgers added that he likely will not practice on a full-time basis unless there is “significant improvement” with his toe. 

“I’m going to keep playing and probably not practice a whole lot unless there’s significant improvement.”

Rodgers felt like their Week 13 bye was beneficial for his recovery, but added that he felt some pain while playing in Week 14 against the Bears.

“It was great, the bye week. Man, it was amazing to be able to get that thing healed up for almost two weeks,” Rodgers said. “But you go out there and play, run around, try to do some things, it’s going be painful after the game.”


  • The Athletic’s Chad Graff writes that a potential comparison in trade value for QB Kirk Cousins should the Vikings shop him would be what Washington gave the Chiefs for QB Alex Smith. They gave up CB Kendall Fuller, a starting-level player with two years remaining on his rookie contract, and a third-round pick. 
  • Graff thinks there’s a good chance the Vikings leave OL Mason Cole in the starting lineup at right guard ahead of Oli Udoh when first-round OT Christian Darrisaw is healthy enough to return. 
  • Vikings HC Mike Zimmer said they are out of the league’s enhanced COVID-19 protocols after senior defensive assistant Paul Guenther and three strength coaches tested positive. (Courtney Cronin)
  • The Vikings protected practice squad CB Tye Smith ahead of Week 15. (Chris Tomasson)
  • Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder) said he doesn’t feel any pain in his current injury, but will continue wearing a harness: “If they give me the ball, we’re gonna be good. I’m good to go.” (Graff)
  • Vikings C Garrett Bradbury thinks that he was playing a “little timid” earlier this season as a result of trying to avoid mistakes: “I felt like watching the tape, I was playing to not mess up, playing a little timid. Whereas in the moment, I felt like I was just playing good, good enough.” (Cronin)

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