- The Athletic’s Adam Jahns writes that Bears chairman George McCaskey is doing homework on organizational changes, potentially including to the top of the power structure in the football department.
- Team president Ted Phillips has come under fire but Jahns doubts he’s fired outright. If anything, he could be allowed to retire but Jahns points out the upcoming stadium situation in Arlington Heights could require Phillips’ hands on the wheel.
- Jahns adds it wouldn’t be surprising if the Bears gave GM Ryan Pace a crack at hiring a third head coach after firing Matt Nagy as expected. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport also hasn’t heard that Pace is in trouble, though he’s also obviously not definitively safe either.
- Bears OC Bill Lazor had high praise of second-round OT Teven Jenkins as a pass blocker despite some apparent struggles: “I would highlight his pass-block technique and production. … I think everyone should be excited. If you just highlighted the technique he used and his production in pass pro, I think everybody should be excited about what they saw happen.” (Kevin Fishbain)
Packers HC Matt LaFleur said they are resting OT David Bakhtiari during practice.
“Dave didn’t practice today. We’re just kind of unloading him for the week,” LaFleur said, via Packers Wire. “We’re going to continue to monitor it daily, and when he’s back, he’s back.”
LaFleur mentioned the team doesn’t want to rush Bakhtiari back.
“Obviously, Dave is a great player, a Pro Bowl player, he’s one of the premier players in this league at that position. He’s doing everything he can,” LaFleur said. “Our athletic training staff is doing everything they can to get him back out there, and when the time’s right, he’ll be back out there.”
- LaFleur mentioned DT Kenny Clark is eligible to play on Saturday despite being on the COVID-19 list. (Tom Silverstein)
- According to Joel Corry, Clark’s 2022 base salary is now $8.25 million, a $250,000 increase, thanks to his Pro Bowl selection.
- According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, a potential QB Aaron Rodgers trade in the offseason would probably have to include multiple first-round picks, multiple day-two picks, and multiple young players. That, combined with the lack of realistic trade targets, means Rodgers’ most logical 2022 team probably the Packers.
- KSTPSports reports Vikings co-DC Andre Patterson tested positive for COVID-19.
- Vikings LB Eric Kendricks didn’t think he should’ve been ejected vs. Chicago: “On the sideline, I was standing around and everyone was like, ‘No, you have to leave.’” (Andrew Krammer)
- Vikings DT Michael Pierce said he tore a portion of his triceps back in November: “It took a little while to heal.” (Ben Goessling)
- Pierce had high praise of veteran DL Sheldon Richardson‘s moving from an interior role to defensive end: “I don’t think there are too many guys that can do that and perform well. … Have a big guy at 5-tech makes my job a whole lot easier.” (Andrew Krammer)
- Vikings OC Klint Kubiak said they don’t plan on changing a lot of their offense now that RB Dalvin Cook landed on the COVID-19 list and RB Alexander Mattison is set to start: “We’re not going to change a whole lot. We know the things Mattison does well, we know the things Dalvin does well. We’ll try to play to the players’ strengths as much as possible. We’ve had a whole offseason to work with Mattison and we’ve got to keep doing the things that he does well.” (Courtney Cronin)
- Vikings WR Justin Jefferson earns a fifth-year option wage increase by being elected to the Pro Bowl. (Brad Spielberger)