We're Black and Blue All Over:
Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz wasn't happy with the team's special-teams coverage groups in last Friday's preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens. Schwartz threatened to bring in new players, and it appears the Lions have followed through.
Veteran Kassim Osgood, a three-time Pro Bowler on special teams, tweeted Wednesday night that he had signed with the Lions. Osgood earned Pro Bowl honors in 2006, 2007 and 2009 while playing for the San Diego Chargers and spent the past two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Osgood, 32, is also a wide receiver. But if he makes the team, it will be as a multi-phase special-teams player. For the time being, he helps alleviate a talent drain caused by John Wendling's ascendance to starting safety and Stefan Logan's ankle injury, among other developments.
Continuing around the NFC North:
A number of Lions defensive backs remained on the practice field Wednesday to determine who was the fastest, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Rookie cornerback Bill Bentley is eager to be a starter, according to Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.
Defensive end Willie Young has demonstrated serious pass-rushing potential, writes Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News.
The Chicago Tribune's David Haugh on Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher's unwillingness to discuss treatment he reportedly sought for his knee in Europe: "The Bears and Urlacher could elaborate or educate instead of obfuscate. The less they say, the more curiosity piques. That's human nature. That's Chicago. Concealing information about Urlacher's European vacation created an air of mystery when transparency could have kept preseason focus on what looks like a playoff team."
Injuries are causing the Bears to shuffle the deck at safety, writes Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
Lorenzo Booker helped his chances of making the Bears' roster with a 105-yard kick return last weekend, notes Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Green Bay Packers will get their best look yet Thursday night at changes they've made to their defense, notes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Pete Dougherty's Packers roster analysis in the Green Bay Press-Gazette suggests that fifth-round draft pick Terrell Manning could miss the cut.
Packers running back Cedric Benson will be highly motivated for Thursday night's preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals, notes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Minnesota Vikings defensive end Brian Robison has new motivation this season, writes Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune.
At the moment, Marcus Sherels is the Vikings' top punt returner, notes Bruce Brothers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com explores the changes the Vikings have made in the secondary.