We're Black and Blue All Over:
We've discussed this issue before, but this part of concussion prevention in the NFL continues to blow me away: Alternate helmet designs exist that are believed to provide better concussion protection, but not all players use them.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers switched in 2010 to the design, which among other things brings the ear flaps further around the jaw line. And as Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com points out, Packers receiver Greg Jennings has switched as well after a concussion cost him two weeks of training camp.
"It's kind of like an old-school car versus a 2013 model," Jennings said. "There's obviously upgrades and safety and things that are going to allow you a more comfortable, safe ride. Same as the helmet. But old-school ones, if you pull them out, they look great, but you don't drive them as often, because if something were to happen, you might be in trouble."
Each player has to decide what helmet is best for him. Jennings said the alternate design isn't comfortable for every player, discouraging some from wearing it. But when they are issued equipment when they sign with a team, I wonder how many players even realize they have a choice.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Packers didn't place offensive lineman Derek Sherrod on the reserve physically unable to perform (PUP) list, notes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, a sign they hope he will be ready to return to practice soon.
It appears that starters will play little, or not at all, in the Packers' final preseason game Thursday night, notes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Injuries to Detroit Lions cornerbacks Chris Houston (ankle) and Bill Bentley (shoulder), along with running back Kevin Smith (shoulder), are not long-term issues, coach Jim Schwartz said via Justin Rogers of Mlive.com.
The Lions' decision to place running back Jahvid Best on the PUP list means he will miss more than a full year of football before he can be cleared to begin practicing, notes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was able to participate in Monday's practice despite an injured left hand, writes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.
The Minnesota Vikings allowed tailback Adrian Peterson to absorb some upper-body contact Monday at practice, notes Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune.
The Vikings put quarterback Christian Ponder through drills this week designed to ensure he steps up in the pocket, according to Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
The Vikings are expecting big things from nose tackle Letroy Guion, writes Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Chicago Bears defensive tackle Stephen Paea will need another week away before his ankle sprain heals, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
The Bears might blitz more this season, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Biggs: "The Bears are driven to improve their pass rush and the first move to shore up that area was drafting [Shea] McClellin in the first round. But the pass rush from the front four through three exhibitions hasn't been consistent. If the defense can't get home with four, the next step could be a more aggressive approach to play-calling."