NFC North links: Raji's injury not serious

August, 31, 2012
8/31/12
9:45
AM ET
Chicago Bears

The Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs takes a look at eight players on the bubble as teams prepare to trim their rosters to 53 players Friday night.

Which players might have helped themselves earn a roster spot in the Bears' 28-20 win against the Browns Thursday night? Running backs Armando Allen and Lorenzo Booker, and quarterback Josh McCown came through with strong performances, writes ESPNChicago's Jon Greenberg.

Detroit Lions

Cornerback Alphonso Smith wanted to get into Thursday night's preseason finale any way he could, so he talked secondary coach Tim Walton into letting him play safety. Smith wouldn't shy away from playing more at the position in the future, according to Carlos Monarrez and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. "I would accept the role at dime, nickel, corner, right corner, safety, strong safety. It doesn't matter, just any way I can help this team," Smith said.

What's coach Jim Schwartz's guiding principle when it comes to deciding which players make the final 53? "Talent," Schwartz told Birkett. "Good players. If you were going to keep nine at a position and you've got 10 Pro Bowlers, well, keep 'em. Keep 'em. Go light at a different position."

Schwartz on the play of cornerback Jonte Green, a rookie sixth-rounder, in Thursday night's win against the Bills: "Yeah, he looked suspiciously like a rookie," Schwartz said via Anwar S. Richardson of mlive.com. "He made a couple of plays, did some good things. Also had a couple of bad-technique plays where he allowed some plays that, quite honestly, he shouldn't allow in the coverage that he's in."

Green Bay Packers

The ankle sprain B.J. Raji suffered on the first play of Thursday night's preseason finale against the Chiefs doesn't appear to be serious enough to sideline the nose tackle for long, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Silverstein and Tyler Dunne.

After struggling through the first three preseason games, Graham Harrell might have finally put to bed the speculation over what the Packers are going to do at the No. 2 quarterback spot. Harrell had the maximum passer rating of 158.3 Thursday night after completing 13 of 15 passes for 223 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, writes ESPNMilwaukee.com's Jason Wilde.

Minnesota Vikings

Five architectural and engineering firms -- including the company that designed new homes for the Minnesota Twins, Wild and University of Minnesota football team -- have submitted renderings and plans for the Vikings stadium, reports the Star Tribune's Richard Meryhew.

The Star Tribune's Dan Wiederer breaks down how he'd pare the roster to 53.

Whether running back Adrian Peterson plays in Minnesota's Week 1 matchup with the Jaguars could be a game-time decision.

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