NFC Notes: Lions, Packers, Aaron Rogers, Vikings


Lions OT Taylor Decker wasn’t happy with media coverage speculating that he could be traded to open up room for first-round OT Penei Sewell to play, or that his injury was less serious than what it actually was.

Frankly, I feel like the narrative of negativity surrounding my name all year, pretty much, has been bullshit,” Decker said, via Detroit Free Press. “I don’t feel like it’s been deserved. I do feel like people within the building and I do feel like a lot of fans appreciate me and what I can do for this team. But yeah, the media pretty much all year has been pretty negative around me, so I’m not going to act like I like that. I think it was (expletive) bullshit. I’ve played a lot of football here and I think I’ve played well. So that’s that.

Decker spent time explaining his injury prognosis and availability.

They told me three months and I’m playing in two months,” Decker said. “And I did everything I could to try and be back out on the field and frankly, it was also insulting that people acted like I just didn’t want to play and wanted to be out for the entire season. So, yeah, having your hand’s really important and if you have one finger that’s not functional and if you have to cast it with a second one, and then you only have a ring finger and a pinky to grab people that are 275 pounds that run a 4.6, that’s hard to do. That’s hard to do. And even yesterday, my hand’s not at 100% yet but it’s tough. You need to be healthy. You can’t have things that are bothering you to play NFL football. And everybody’s banged up, but when it’s a legitimate injury and I’m told the timeline by the surgeon, I’m going to go with that timeline by the surgeon because they’re an expert at that, and a specialist at that, and that’s what they do.

Decker admitted that it was tough on him having to deal with speculation about him potentially being dealt as part of the Lions’ rebuild.

Having to sit down and have a conversation with my dad that it’ll be OK if something were like that to happen, even though it’s not going to,” Decker said. “And my friends calling me, worried. I’m like, ‘I’m playing in the NFL, it’s OK’. But having my parents call, my parents be concerned and them upset, and my friends and my family, and people in my neighborhood that I see outside when I’m walking my dogs to just have to deal with all that. When as far as I understand, there was zero possibility of me not being a Detroit Lion this year. It’s just really frustrating and I feel like a lot of those articles are being written for clicks and being grandiose and over the top, and I don’t understand — and I never will understand why there was so much negativity surrounding me and my name. I don’t feel like it was deserved whatsoever.

Decker initially tried to return in October, but soon realized that his surgically-repaired hand needed more rest.

I tried to come back early and my hand was casted up and I played one play of practice and team and did something to the UCL joint and the knuckle, but we couldn’t see it on the MRI because there’s so much metal in there that you can’t read the MRI,” he said. “But my hand blew it up. It was very swollen. I lost all the mobility that I had gained in my hand. Then at that point it’s like, ‘All right, we need to let this thing calm down and then we’ll try again, get you back out there.’ So that’s what we did and I think it was the smart thing to do instead of trying to rush it, cause when I went back and saw the surgeon she said you should probably give it a couple weeks or you could cause permanent damage, or break it again.

Decker praised Sewell, and believes that the offensive line will be one of the team’s key strengths in the near future.

I think Penei’s played awesome,” Decker said. “I love that kid. I love the guys in our room. They’re great. And he’s going to be a hell of a player for a long time. We’ve got a lot of good guys that are good teammates in that room and it’s a fun room to be a part of. Obviously, it was my first time being out there yesterday and playing with everybody, but the energy and the confidence that we have as a group up front is pretty impressive and I think we can be a good group for years to come.


  • Packers’ HC Matt LaFleur called the game an “emotional rollercoaster” with S Darnell Savage nearly securing a game-changing interception: “You’d love to survive the ground right there. Unfortunately, he didn’t.” (Wood)
  • Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers says his toe was stepped on in the first half, reaggravating an injury: “It’s going to be another painful week next week, and then hopefully feel better over the bye.” (Wood)
  • Rodgers told reporters the injury is “a little worse” than having turf toe, but would not say when or how the “very, very painful” injury occurred. (Ari Meirov)
  • Rodgers on the injury: “I’ve had turf toe. It’s a little worse than turf toe. I’m just going to have to get through the bye…Probably the same schedule next week. Was in a lot of pain. Went into halftime early to get it checked out.” (Justis Mosqueda)
  • According to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers‘ toe injury has been seriously limiting him at practice this week and the hope is it will improve over the bye in a couple of weeks.
  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport adds the injury is real and concerning and something Rodgers will likely have to deal with for the remainder of the season.  


  • Vikings’ RB Dalvin Cook said he could’ve scored on his last carry but did not want Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers to get the ball back: “I wanted to score so bad but I knew I couldn’t give Aaron Rodgers back the football.” (Chad Graff)
  • Vikings HC Mike Zimmer explained starting Mason Cole at center over Garrett Bradbury, yet would not commit to either player going forward: “He’s played well the last two weeks. Their nose tackle is a real good player.” (Tomasson)

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