We're Black and Blue All Over:
Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf continues to distance himself from any threat of relocation to Los Angeles as the team's lease at the Metrodome nears expiration. Here's what Wilf told the Associated Press this week:
"From the NFL's standpoint and the league's standpoint, they do intend to have one, if not two teams, in that market in the future. But I want to let everyone know that we are entirely focused on getting the job done here and I'm not paying much attention to what happens outside this issue here."
Wilf has said since buying the team in 2005 that he would not move it. Ultimately, he could sell to a buyer who would do that, but there appears to be no momentum for doing so at the moment.
Meanwhile, negotiations for the stadium site took an interesting turn. A day after Gov. Mark Dayton said the team might need to increase its financial contribution to secure its preferred site in suburban Arden Hills, Minn., Wilf said he would decrease his offer if the state ultimately decides to build in downtown Minneapolis.
Here's what Wilf told the Associated Press: "Any other location besides Arden Hills wouldn't justify near that level of commitment."
Continuing around the NFC North:
Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder didn't seem bothered by a practice in 38-degree weather, writes Mark Craig of the Star Tribune. Ponder practiced in shirt sleeves and shorts.
The Vikings are hoping Ponder can end a recent run of prime-time ineptitude for the franchise, notes Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette looks at the impact of flipping defensive linemen Ryan Pickett and B.J. Raji in the Packers' base defense.
The Packers' offensive line has a big job in keeping quarterback Aaron Rodgers upright, notes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Lions punter Ryan Donahue (quadriceps) is going to test out his leg today, according to the Free Press.
Lions receiver Nate Burleson has had more than 100 yards in receiving called back by penalty, according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher on the death of his mother, via Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times: "We're still not through it. We still talk about it. I think that's the best thing we can do is talk about it, and let them know it's OK to be upset and cry and miss her, because we all miss her. It's been hard, but they've done really well. My kids are tough."
Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com notes that Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Jason Babin is upset by a crackback block from tight end Kellen Davis in last Monday night's game. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz defended the block.