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Black and Blue all over: Joint practice beckons

7/31/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- As we await the latest installment in Brett Favre mania, we are ruing one possible bi-product: We might have to scrap plans to attend Thursday night's annual joint practice between the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs in River Falls, Wis.

The event has been scaled down over the years, but it still represents a noticeable uptick in intensity and the first chance to see how players will respond in even a pseudo-game environment. It's usually good for a few tussles here and there, but both the Vikings and Chiefs can relax knowing that a prime instigator -- Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards -- isn't expected to participate because of a back injury.

One defensive end who will be on the field is the Vikings' Jared Allen, whom the Chiefs traded away in one of the biggest moves of the NFL offseason. Allen said this week that he "has bigger fish to fry" than the Chiefs but didn't hide his long-running disdain for Kansas City president Carl Peterson: "I've got nothing to talk to him about," Allen said.

The practice begins at 6:30 p.m. at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. We'll provide some highlights if we can.

In other division news (and yes, WE KNOW THERE ARE MORE TEAMS IN THE NFC NORTH BESIDES THE PACKERS AND THE TEAMS THAT MIGHT HAVE INTEREST IN BRETT FAVRE.):

  • Second-year Chicago Bears cornerback Corey Graham was getting a lot of playing time during our visit to Olivet Nazarene University last week, (which feels like last year). As David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune writes, Graham has been a training camp surprise and is in line to serve as the team's nickel back and No. 3 corner.

  • Bears kicker Robbie Gould has adjusted his kickoff mechanics in hopes of driving the ball further, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times.

  • Detroit Lions cornerback Brian Kelly is demonstrating the ideal way to play cornerback in the Tampa-2 defensive scheme this summer, according to Mike O'Hara of the Detroit News.

  • Could the Packers trade Favre to a division rival? The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel broaches that topic. (We'll do the same in a post later today).

  • Updating its earlier report, the Green Bay Press-Gazette uses the $20 million figure to estimate how much the Packers offered Favre to remain retired.