NFC Notes: Lions, Packers, Vikings


Lions DE Julian Okwara said he is looking forward to playing with his brother, DE Romeo Okwara.

“I think that’s something we’re definitely excited for,” Julian Okwara said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “Just build a legacy, especially two brothers coming off the edge, meeting at the quarterback. Whatever we need to do, make change and make plays out in the backfield. I think that’s definitely something we’re looking forward to.”

Julian believes that the two of them can both reach 10 sacks this season.

“I definitely see myself getting double-digit sacks and my brother the same thing,” Julian said. “I think that’s something that hasn’t been done with two brothers coming off the edge and just having that excitement of knowing your brother’s on the other end.”


  • Per the Athletic’s Matt Schneidman, with Packers LT David Bakhtiari still rehabbing, his spot was filled by OL Elgton Jenkins and Ben Braden at OTAs, with the latter working ahead of OT Yosh Nijman
  • Packers OL coach Adam Stenavich sounded bullish about Braden’s development: “Ben, you look at him, he’s a very big guy. He has strength, he’s got good athleticism, he’s very versatile. Last year, his role, he came in and was kind of a swing guy for us at guard and tackle, so now it’s just a matter of him being around this offseason, learning the system from installation on forward…I think he’s going to really compete for a starting job at guard or tackle.”
  • Schneidman thinks Packers fifth-round DT Tedarrell Slaton could push for a role as a rookie on a generally non-assuming Green Bay defensive line. 
  • He adds the No. 3 running back last year, AJ Dillon, played 10 percent of the snaps, so if seventh-round RB Kylin Hill wins that job, he’s looking at a contributing role as a rookie as well. 
  • Regarding a new deal for CB Jaire Alexander, Schneidman says not to expect any movement there until after the 2021 season, as Alexander still has two years remaining on his contract. 
  • While 2020 first-round QB Jordan Love would seem to be the logical successor, Schneidman writes he would not be surprised if Packers QB Blake Bortles is starting Week 1 should Aaron Rodgers not be available. 
  • ESPN’s Rob Demovsky says Rodgers not attending mandatory minicamp isn’t the biggest deal in the world, as it gives Green Bay an extended look at Love. 
  • The next inflection point will come when training camp starts. Rodgers remains resolute that he will not attend, which gives the Packers the next several weeks to see if they can change his mind, per Demovsky. 
  • Jenkins, OLB Za’Darius Smith, OLB Preston Smith and DL Dean Lowry did not practice because they are in the COVID-19 protocol. (Matt Schneidman)
  • Packers HC Matt LaFleur didn’t want to address Rodgers’ absence from minicamp: “That’s team business that we’re always going to keep confidential between us and the player.” (Ryan Wood)
  • LaFleur added Love needs the reps to develop: “He needs every rep he can get right now. He’s a young quarterback that was not afforded a preseason last year. Give him as many as he can handle. I just think every rep he takes is so valuable and he can learning something from the good and the bad.” (Rob Demovsky)
  • Bakhtiari said he doesn’t want to get involved in the standoff between Rodgers and the team: “I have a very close relationship with Aaron, but I’m not going to inject myself in the middle. This is between them, and whatever they come to.” (Wood)
  • Bakhtiari did admit he doesn’t know how it will end: “I have just as much of an idea as anyone else does. I think as time goes on, it will sort itself out, and we all will find out.” (Wood)
  • On his torn ACL, Bakhtiari said he talked to former Packers Jordy Nelson and Bryan Bulaga about how to rehab. (Wood)
  • Packers WR Davante Adams said he supports Rodgers but isn’t making any predictions for what will happen: “Honestly, I’ve got no expectations, man. I’m just being supportive of my guy and letting it unfold like it does. Obviously, I pray that he comes back. We all pray that he comes back.” (Wood)
  • Adams also said that he will attend all mandatory practices: “I signed up to go to work and play.” (Wood)


  • Vikings QB Kellen Mond‘s father, Kevin Mond, said the Texans wanted to take Mond at pick No. 67 before the Vikings took him. (Chris Tomasson)
  • The senior Mond said the Texans had already told his son’s agent they were eyeballing him with their pick near the top of the third round and were getting ready to turn in the card. 

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