NFC Notes: Lions, Packers, Vikings


  • Lions’ new QB Jared Goff expects to throw a lot of deep passes this season: “I love to take (deep) shots and I know we’re gonna call a lot of them. … We expect to throw the ball down the field.” (Chris Burke)
  • Goff thinks Detroit’s receivers are underrated and said they’ve been playing well in practice: “I think they’re gonna surprise a lot of people. They’ve been fun to play with.” (Chris Burke)
  • Lions HC Dan Campbell said he envisions RBs Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift being a “1-2 punch” similar to how the Saints used Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram.


Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers spoke with former teammate and current NFL Network analyst James Jones and admitted that he is happy to be back at practice in Green Bay.

“It’s the best feeling,” Rodgers said during Back Together Saturday. “It was a little strange, I think, Day 1 just because I was gone for the entire offseason and contemplated my own future and the possibility of playing somewhere else as well. But when I’m back here, I’m 100 percent all in. You know me, you know what I’m all about. I love my teammates. I love competing. I do love practice. I love to go out and give it to the young corner when I can, get after these guys, talk a little smack, especially with a new D-coordinator in here, we’ve got to let him know how it goes around here. It’s good to be back.”

  • Packers RB AJ Dillon has made it a point to catch as many passes as possible during the off-season: “It’s part of my game I want to keep developing.”(Tom Silverstein)
  • Dillon said last season taught him to value every chance he got: “It was a really cool experience because I understand now every single rep, I had to give everything I had.” (Ryan Wood)
  • Packers third-round WR Amari Rodgers on being on the same team with his mentor WR Randall Cobb: “It’s a dream come true, to be honest. I remember being a kid working out with him, I thought I was working out with LeBron. Because he was the best athlete I’d ever seen.” (Ryan Wood)
  • ESPN’s Field Yates reports Cobb restructured his deal after being traded to the Packers, converting $4.075 million of his $5.25 million salary into a signing bonus. It also decreased his cap number for 2021 down to $2,687,254 and added a void year in 2023. 
  • Packers‘ T Dennis Kelly signed a one-year, $1.325 million deal that includes a base salary of $1.075 million and a signing bonus of $250,000. (Tom Silverstein)


Vikings’ DT Michael Pierce told the media that he is expected to return soon from a knee injury.

“I actually injured it three weeks before you guys found out,” Pierce said, via Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune. “So it’s doing a lot better, is a lot further along than what coach and them expected. When I came back from ‘Bama and started getting treatments, they were pretty shocked, so that’s a good thing. It will be a little bit of nervousness, a little butterflies, but I think that happens at any point in camp,” Pierce said. “Just anxiousness. I’ll probably have to like pull myself back a little bit. I’m itching. If you can’t tell, I’m fidgety, but once this calf gets to 100 percent, I’ll be able to roll.”

  • Vikings HC Mike Zimmer said since QB Jake Browning is vaccinated, he took the first-team reps while the rest of the unit was in COVID-19 protocol: “Jake’s really smart. He’s vaccinated, that helps to be the backup. So as we move forward here, he’s gonna get a ton of reps tonight…He’s out there, he’s available, that’s important. It’s important to be available when you’re playing football, a team sport.” (Courtney Cronin)
  • Zimmer added first-round LT Christian Darrisaw should be back soon from his injury: “I don’t think he’s going be too much longer.”  (Chris Tomasson)
  • Zimmer mentioned there is a competition for the starting right guard position. (Tomasson)

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