We're Black and Blue All Over:
We discussed on Sunday the likelihood of the Minnesota Vikings playing a home game in London during the 2013 season, and on Tuesday evening the NFL made it official. The Vikings will "host" the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 29, 2013, at Wembley Stadium and then have a bye after that game.
The NFL will provide the Vikings with financial support for losing a home game, according to 1500ESPN.com. But it's a no-brainer decision for the Vikings, who eagerly pursued the opportunity to promote their brand internationally during the transition time between the revenue-challenged Metrodome -- and the more deeply-challenged TCF Bank Stadium -- and their new stadium, which will open in 2016.
Suffice it to say, the Vikings will have ample opportunity to recoup any lost revenue and then some. And those who are upset the Vikings will play seven regular-season games in Minnesota rather than eight next season should be aware that none of the team's three home games have sold out in 2012.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Vikings have played four international games in their history, notes Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Mark Craig of the Star Tribune examines the crazy-man world of punt returning.
The tenure of the Chicago Bears' 2008 first-round pick, offensive lineman Chris Williams, came to an end Tuesday when he was released to make room for the return of cornerback Zack Bowman. Williams hasn't been a starter since late in the 2011 season and was seemingly in his final year with the team regardless. Jonathan Scott will serve as the team's swing backup. Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com has more details.
It's a matter of time before the Bears' Devin Hester has a big return, writes Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune speaks with Bears receiver Brandon Marshall on his time so far with the team.
The Green Bay Packers have the luxury of holding out receiver Greg Jennings until his sore groin is completely healed, writes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers might appear on the injury report because of a leg injury he suffered while scoring a touchdown that was ultimately called back because of penalty last Sunday night in Houston. Rodgers said on his ESPNMilwaukee.com radio show that there is no question he will play this Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.
Rodgers on Packers receiver Randall Cobb, via Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "Randall Cobb is probably going to go down as one of the best picks in Ted Thompson's career, if not the best. I think to get him where we got him, the kind of person that he is, the approach that he has, his knowledge of the game, what he adds to the team, his locker room presence -- he is a personnel and a coach's dream. And, he's a lot of fun to play with. He really understands the offense well, he makes second reaction plays that are very intelligent and he's fun to play with."
Detroit Lions rookie cornerback Chris Greenwood has been activated from the physically unable to perform list in order to begin practicing, notes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News reports from a speech Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch gave about leadership to high school students.
Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley finally played like a first-round pick last Sunday, according to Justin Rogers of Mlive.com.