As I work my way through training camps this summer, I'll do my best to keep you updated on all the happenings within the division. But I'm also not going to make apologies for focusing on the team I'm visiting that day. That's why you've seen an uptick in Minnesota posts this week, and that's why the pendulum will swing toward Green Bay and then Chicago next week. All's fair in love and war ... also whenever I say it is.
A reasonable compromise, I think, is at least to get caught up on everything by the end of the day. So tonight we debut the Evening Roundup until we figure out a catchier name. On with it....
Detroit's contract agreement with tight end Brandon Pettigrew locked up the final member of the Lions' draft class on the day players reported for training camp. It leaves the division with two unsigned rookies: Green Bay defensive lineman B.J. Raji and Minnesota receiver Percy Harvin.
As of Friday evening, no deal appeared imminent for either Raji or Harvin. None of the players selected between No. 8 and No. 12 are signed, making Raji's slot at No. 9 a bit murky. The holdup on Harvin is less easily explained. But unless something dramatic happens overnight, neither player will be on the practice field Saturday.
The Packers are hoping to use Raji as a defensive end while Ryan Pickett starts at nose tackle. But Packers coach Mike McCarthy hinted that a prolonged holdout could eventually limit Raji's time as an end and, presumably, as an opening day starter.
"Really it depends on when he gets here," McCarthy said. "Because the end snaps are very important for him, especially in base. Just like most teams I would think, you start off with base your first practices and work your way to sub."
Packers linebacker Nick Barnett said via Twitter that he is "bummed" to have been placed on the physically unable to perform list. But it's relatively standard procedure for a player less than 10 months removed from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruicate ligament.
The move gives Barnett a chance to continue his recovery and ramp up his physical activity at a safe pace. McCarthy said Barnett is "definitely headed in the right direction" and predicted he will be added to the active roster before the end of training camp.
Chicago offensive coordinator Ron Turner suggested the Bears could use Matt Forte and Kevin Jones in the same backfield, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago. Dickerson also reports that defensive tackle Anthony Adams worked with the first team in place of Marcus Harrison, who is on the non-football injury list. Check out Dickerson's Twitter feed for some play-by-play of practice.