We're Black and Blue All Over:
If it's up to him, Detroit Lions tailback Jahvid Best will play Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. Best has a grade 2 turf toe injury and missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, but he told reporters that he plans to practice Friday and that "it's looking like I'll be ready to go this week."
Sometimes rookies are slow to understand the NFL mantra about keeping game-day availability a secret, so I'm not sure if Best spoke out of turn or doesn't realize that ultimately the team's medical staff will have to clear him first. But as we discussed Thursday, Best's open-field running ability is a key antidote to the deep zone defenses the Lions have faced this season.
We'll update you on his status Friday afternoon.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Rookie Lions safety Amari Spievey is expected to get some significant playing time moving forward, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
The Lions waived rookie safety Randy Phillips and signed veteran Dante Wesley. The Detroit Free Press reports the Lions hope to sign Phillips back to their practice squad.
Chicago Bears left tackle Chris Williams won't play Sunday night against the New York Giants, reports Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com. Williams has a significant hamstring injury.
The Bears have played Cover 2 defense on 77 percent of opponents' dropbacks, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune. It's another example of how they have reverted to their Tampa 2 roots under defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.
Green Bay Packers receiver James Jones on his late-game fumble Monday night at Soldier Field, via Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "I felt bad. I felt like I let my teammates down. I felt like I wanted to cry. I [was] the first one jumping in there [because] I just wanted to let them know that I'm not taking this lightly. It hurt me as much as it hurt them, if not more, that I let that ball go. But you go through ups and downs in your career, and you just have to go out there this weekend and make the most of your chances."
The Packers probably won't have linebacker Brandon Chillar (shoulder) for Sunday's game, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. A.J. Hawk and perhaps Desmond Bishop will replace him in nickel packages.
Packers tight end Jermichael Finley hasn't forgotten a wicked hit he received last season from Lions safety Louis Delmas, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
According to Mike Spofford of Packers.com, the Lions have started 11 different quarterbacks during their current 19-game losing streak (including playoffs) in the state of Wisconsin. Shaun Hill would be the 12th on Sunday.
The Minnesota Vikings enter their bye as a team built around defense and the running game, writes Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.