NFC Notes: Lions, Packers, Vikings


Lions’ TE T.J. Hockenson spoke about the team being without LT Taylor Decker and having to lean on former DL Matt Nelson, who has converted to left tackle and will start for the Lions in Week 1.

“Taylor is one of those guys who has been a captain the last couple years, just a guy that you feed off of,” Hockenson said, via Kyle Meinke of “But at the same time, it’s next man up. Matt Nelson’s a good player, he’s played for us, he’s been in it with us the last couple of years, Nelson has. So I think he’s ready for the challenge. He blocked Khalil Mack last year, so I think we’ll be all right up front. I’m not really worried about it. Football’s one of those games where it’s next man up, and you can’t really think about stuff like that. You just have to move on, and obviously, Taylor is a great player and we definitely would love to have him when he comes back, whenever that is, and we’re going to keep rolling. But that’s not something that you can really think about and hang your hat on, you know?”

  • The Detroit Lions brought in veteran WR Geronimo Allison for a visit this week, according to Aaron Wilson.
  • Lions’ T Penei Sewell said he has played left tackle in practice the last two days since LT Taylor Decker’s injury. Sewell said he is “definitely” the right tackle whenever Decker makes his return. (Dave Birkett


Packers QB Aaron Rodgers doesn’t believe his uncertain future with the organization is a distraction to the rest of the team and has high expectations for this season. 

“I’m speaking personally and I can’t speak for everybody,” Rodgers said, via Steve Megargee of the Associated Press. “But the feel that I get with the energy in the locker room is not pressure. It’s focus. I think it’s the right perspective and the right type of focus. We know we have a talented team. We know what the expectations are.”

Packers WR Davante Adams said this year’s squad is likely the “hungriest team” he’s been around based on recent success. 

This is probably the hungriest team that I’ve ever been around, honestly, just because we have been so close a number of times now,”  Adams said.

Rodgers also acknowledged that Adams, WR Allen Lazard, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, TE Robert Tonyan are also in contract years, meaning each of them has a sense of urgency to contribute. 

We’re just focusing on accountability and holding each other accountable because regardless of what happens with any of our situations, this group will not be together the way it is now in years down the line,” Rodgers said. “So we’re going to enjoy this year for all that it has to offer, and each other, and I think that’s the right perspective to have when you get in this situation.”

  • Packers’ HC Matt LaFleur said he is not ruling out LB Za’Darius Smith despite him missing practice: “He’s feeling some things. We thought it was in the best interest to leave him out and give him the next 48 hours to prove he can go out there and play.” (Ryan Wood)
  • The Green Bay Packers brought in LB Tyshun Render for a workout, per Aaron Wilson.


  • Vikings WR Dede Westbrook said there was “never a doubt” he’d be in jeopardy of missing Week 1 after recovering from a torn ACL and was ecstatic to return: “The first time I caught a pass again in practice, I freaked out.” (Andrew Krammer)
  • Vikings’ DE Stephen Weatherly has taken a pay cut and now has a base salary of $1.5 million, with the $500,000 signing bonus. His maximum sack incentives in the old deal were $500,000 for seven sacks and were bumped up to $1 million for eight sacks. (Ben Goessling)

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