NFC Notes: N’Keal Harry, Bears, Packers, Vikings


Bears OT Teven Jenkins returned to practice Saturday after an extended absence, during which the team was cagey about why exactly he was sitting out and there were reports that he was being shopped as a potential trade candidate. Jenkins also refused to give specifics about his injury, only saying he felt his absence was productive for “the betterment of my health.” He dealt with a back injury for most of his rookie season. 

“It feels really good and I’m not having any discomfort right now, so it’s really good,” Jenkins said via ESPN’s Courtney Cronin. “If I had to give myself a percent, probably around 90% and it’s just about working my body back into the feeling of football back again and getting back to that 100% of ‘this is football’ and get ready to go.”

Jenkins didn’t have a whole lot to say, but he tweeted at one fan not to believe everything out there about his situation and said on Saturday he was referring to a report about friction with the coaching staff. 

“Just one thing, mainly, that I was clashing with coaches,” Jenkins said. “That was totally not true, and I just wanted to tell everybody that you don’t have to believe everything that somebody says. It’s just how it is.”


Packers RB AJ Dillon recalls the criticism he faced about his receiving ability when he was a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. 

“That’s all I heard, especially when I got drafted and everybody wanted a receiver,” said Dillon said, via Wes Hodkiewicz of the team’s official site. “I keep receipts. I’m a nice guy and all but trust me I got the receipts. People weren’t too pleased.”

Dillon feels more reactive as a receiver and is able to play instinctually. 

“I’m having fun with it. I’m playing loose. I’m playing fast,” Dillon said. “Even though it might be a tenth of a second thing, ‘Oh wait, should I catch it this way?’ That’s not going through my head. I’m just reacting the way I should.”

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers believes Dillon has been one of the most improved players in the league over the last few years and praised his pass-catching ability. 

“I feel like of all the people we’ve had the last three years, he’s got to be on a very short list of guys who have improved so drastically, and his pass-catching ability is really, really solid,” Rodgers said. “He’s made difficult catches look easy over the last couple years and this training camp, and I couldn’t be more proud of (number) 28 and his approach, the way that he’s handled not just being a player in this locker room, an ascending player, but a member of this community.”


Vikings WR K.J. Osborn is battling for the team’s third wide receiver spot. He put his speed on display during camp, hauling in a 60-yard deep ball from QB Kirk Cousins.

My whole life everybody said I was too slow,” Osborn said, via Star Tribune. “They were always saying I was too slow. I didn’t get a lot of offers because I was slow. Nobody thought I was going to run a [4.48-second 40-yard dash]. So now when my dad and I hear people talk about my speed, we just kind of laugh.

Vikings WR coach Wes Phillips called Osborn a natural fit for the team’s offense. Minnesota wants to run the ball out of three wide receiver sets, which fits Osborn’s skillset well.

A big, strong guy who is very smart and knows all the positions. He can move around, he can do some of the dirty work in the run game,” Phillips said. “He’ll surprise you and run by you as well. He’s a 4.3-type guy who can really run as well. There’s a lot of things to like about K.J.

  • Vikings TE Johnny Mundt is trying to take advantage of the opportunity for more reps with TE Irv Smith Jr. sidelined: “It opens up some more doors. I’m getting a lot more reps in practice. Third-down situations and things like that. Just building chemistry with Kirk and the other QBs and the rest of the team.” (Chris Tomasson)

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