We're Black and Blue All Over:
One of the major storylines for Monday night's showdown between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears is who will play left tackle for both teams. The Bears might have to shift right tackle Frank Omiyale to the left side in place of the injured Chris Williams (hamstring). The Packers, meanwhile, are giving strong consideration to starting rookie Bryan Bulaga because of Chad Clifton's continuing knee soreness.
Speaking Thursday to Wisconsin reporters, Bulaga sounded the company line. Packers coach Mike McCarthy has said that Clifton is the starter when he is healthy, but there are many who have interpreted his words as a cover for a veteran who appears broken down.
Bulaga (via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel): "I'm going to approach it like I'm going to be in there and kind of go from there. That's kind of how I approach it every week, prepare like I'm going to be starting and then if I get my opportunity, then I get my opportunity. Chad is the starting left tackle. I think everyone has made that clear here. I know that, I think everyone else knows that, but every week I've prepared myself to start if need be."
Frankly, I don't know why Bulaga would even bother showing up. At least, that's what the combine gurus would tell you. As you recall from our offseason discussion on the topic, Bulaga's arms are only 32 1/4 inches long. Bears defensive end Julius Peppers' arms measure 34 1/8.
Now that's a mismatch. (SARCASM ALERT.)
Continuing around the NFC North:
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has spread the ball around the field in the first two games of the season, writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "Atari Bigby doesn't know what his role in the Green Bay Packers' defense will be once he's finally able to return to action, but the veteran safety does know that both he and Pro Bowl cornerback Al Harris should provide a welcome lift to what is already a good football team when they come off the physically unable to perform list in a few weeks."
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh isn't backing away from his statement that the Lions won't lose at home again this season, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Lions right tackle Gosder Cherilus has a long history with the Minnesota Vikings, notes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
Michael Rosenberg of the Free Press: "The good news is that I think the Lions have a real chance Sunday. The bad news is that I'm horrible at predictions. So never mind that. But I think this is an interesting game, because it's a clash between the perception of the Lions and the team they claim to be."
Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz said Wednesday that Devin Aromashodu's playing time decreased last Sunday in Dallas because he is not deemed capable of playing in the slot. Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com has a transcript of Martz's comments. Blocking, health and drops could also have something to do with it.
Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times: "It already has been established that this isn't last season, that Ron Turner no longer is the Bears' offensive coordinator and that his replacement, Mike Martz, is smarter than Stephen Hawking."
Bears center Olin Kreutz is playing well enough to deserve a new contract after his current one expires this winter, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan will have a tall task in facing Suh this weekend, notes the Star Tribune.
Vikings quarterback Brett Favre will take what he hopes is a final lubricant shot in his left ankle after Sunday's game against the Lions, writes Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The Vikings lost rookie tight end Mickey Shuler to the Miami Dolphins on a waiver claim, notes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.