We're Black and Blue All Over:
It appears the Green Bay Packers are taking their training camp competition at right cornerback, as well as nickel safety, down to the wire. Reports from Green Bay suggest that the candidates for both spots haven't been told who will start Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
Jarrett Bush opened and finished camp at right cornerback, yielding to several challengers in between. It now appears down to him or Sam Shields, who had a strong performance in the preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs. Meanwhile, it's not clear whether M.D. Jennings will hold on to the second safety job when the Packers are in nickel or whether rookie Jerron McMillian will win it.
The uncertainty is relevant if it reflects the lack of a clear winner at either spot. If it's just a matter of a Week 1 competitive advantage, well, we've all seen that before.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Packers' offense isn't concerned about its sluggish preseason, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
With that said, the Packers know they have a tough challenge against the 49ers defense, notes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
49ers receiver Randy Moss on his return to Lambeau Field, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News: "I've had success on that field, won and lost. I just don't like people bringing up the old stuff. I try to have fun with the fans, try to have fun. But at the same time, I want to go out and compete."
This is a good time for the Minnesota Vikings to go young in the defensive secondary, writes Mark Craig of the Star Tribune.
The race for improvement between the Vikings' Christian Ponder and the Jacksonville Jaguars' Blaine Gabbert should decide Sunday's game at the Metrodome, writes Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
Vikings receiver Percy Harvin has slimmed down to his college weight of 190 pounds, notes Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has worked on getting closer to coach Jim Schwartz. Chris McCosky of the Detroit News has more.
John Niyo of the Detroit News on Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford's national ESPN commercial: "I'd argue it's another positive sign for this franchise -- and this franchise player -- to see Stafford happily playing the role of the self-deprecating star. Part of the reason the ad was so well received among his teammates this week is because it's so genuine, and genuinely funny."
It's a mutual lovefest this week between Schwartz and Rams coach Jeff Fisher, writes Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.
Lions running back Jahvid Best (concussion) expects to be ready to play when his time on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list is up, writes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.
The Chicago Bears have finally begun building around quarterback Jay Cutler, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
Here's an odd development: Bears right tackle Gabe Carimi is still working his way back from last year's knee injury, according to Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times. Here's what offensive coordinator Mike Tice said about Carimi: "He's going to take a while to be up to full speed. I don't think he’s all the way back yet. The endurance in his leg is going to come with game time."
Bears receiver Brandon Marshall had 21 receptions the last time he played the Indianapolis Colts, as part of the 2009 Denver Broncos, recalls Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.