We're Black and Blue All Over:
As we await clarity on the 2010 future of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com notes a telling quote from presumptive starter Drew Stanton. Speaking on a local television program, Stanton said Stafford will "determine what's best for him and his career in the long run and move forward with whatever decision's done."
Does that mean Stafford might have season-ending surgery on his right shoulder? Does he just need to decide whether to shut himself down for an extended period of time? Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Monday that surgical options weren't being considered, but Kowalski has reported that the team had initial fears Stafford would be lost for the season regardless.
In the meantime, the Lions claimed quarterback Zac Robinson on waivers from the Seattle Seahawks Robinson, a rookie from Oklahoma State, was a seventh-round draft pick of the New England Patriots and had spent time on both the Seahawks' practice squad and 53-man roster during the regular season. Stanton was the Lions' only healthy quarterback. Shaun Hill is recovering from a fractured left forearm.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Surgery is a possible outcome of the kind of shoulder separation Stafford is believed to have, writes Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press.
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune on Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith: "A coach who has earned his share of blame for the Bears' three-year playoff drought deserves credit for his team containing drama to what happens on the field. Regardless of the chaos you may see on Sundays, you have heard nary a peep about the coach publicly from players because they hold him in high regard."
If the Bears ever fired Smith during the season, special teams coordinator Dave Toub would be his interim replacement, writes Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Bears defensive end Israel Idonije is one sack away from matching his combined total from 2008 and 2009, notes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press speaks to Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe on the stellar season he has had thus far.
Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian expects to be fined for wearing yellow shoes Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, notes the Star Tribune.
Find out why Green Bay Packers punter Tim Masthay's nickname is "Wolverine" in this feature from Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
The Packers are doing a better job protecting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, writes Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette examines whether Packers linebacker Clay Matthews could win the NFL's MVP award.