We're Black and Blue All Over:
Here's something that might catch you by surprise: Green Bay Packers receiver Jordy Nelson is on an extraordinarily productive run dating back to Week 16 of last season.
As Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes, Nelson has caught 34 passes for 610 yards and five touchdowns over the Packers' past eight games, including the playoffs. Greg Jennings is the only receiver who has caught more passes for more yards over that span, but Nelson has him beat by a touchdown.
Consider this development another example of where the Packers' purported starting lineup doesn't necessarily correlate to playing time or production. Already, backup tailback James Starks is getting substantially more playing time than starter Ryan Grant. And by the numbers, at least, Nelson is the Packers' No. 2 receiver next to Jennings.
Nelson isn't getting more playing time than other receivers; according to Dunne, he was on the field for 33 of 58 plays last Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. But he is capitalizing on the opportunities he does get, and opposing defenses would be well advised to catch on.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Packers are hoping punter Tim Masthay finds a rhythm soon, writes Kareem Copeland of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
The Packers are upset about a roughing-the-passer call against linebacker Desmond Bishop in last Sunday's game, notes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
The Chicago Bears might start Craig Steltz and Brandon Meriweather at safety Sunday against the Packers, writes Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.
Bears receivers coach Darryl Drake believes his group gets enough separation to merit throws, writes Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
It appears receiver Roy Williams (groin) is on track to play Sunday, notes Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
Detroit Lions safety Louis Delmas isn't a big fan of playing at the Metrodome, writes Justin Rogers of Mlive.com.
Sunday will be receiver Nate Burleson's first return to the Metrodome since he departed the Minnesota Vikings after the 2005 season, notes the Detroit Free Press.
The Lions are preparing to deal with the return of Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson still has a big salary cap number under his new contract, notes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
The city of Minneapolis is claiming about $30 million in proceeds if the Metrodome is sold, according to the Star Tribune.
The Vikings' pass defense hasn't been the same since safety Darren Sharper left after the 2007 season, writes Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.