We're Black and Blue All Over:
There has been plenty of fretting this week about the future of Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, but not much attention on the man who will replace him for the next few weeks. Nick Roach is making a similar switch to one he attempted in 2009, moving from the strong side to the middle, and Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com details some of the challenges facing him.
Among the most unique: In 2009, the relatively soft-spoken Roach had trouble clearly communicating the defensive calls in the huddle. Linebacker Lance Briggs joked that Roach's voice has "matured" since then, but Roach said he now tries "to make a conscious effort to get the communications clear so the guys can hear it."
Ensuring that everyone hears the call is a basic part of his position. Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, Roach's biggest job will be to keep tailback Adrian Peterson from getting into the secondary.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Bears are laughing at continued suggestions that rookie defensive end Shea McClellin will one day replace Urlacher at middle linebacker. Wright explains for ESPNChicago.com.
The Bears' short passing game worked well against the Vikings in the teams' first meeting, notes Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times.
New Green Bay Packers running back DuJuan Harris has impressed a lot of people in practice and could get a shot in games, writes Sarah Barshop of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
It appears the Packers are preparing defensive back Charles Woodson and linebacker Clay Matthews to be ready for the Week 15 game against the Bears, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Packers punter Tim Masthay is on pace to break his own team record for net punting again, notes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson on Thursday jokingly -- sort of -- suggested the idea of a 2,500-yard season. Mark Craig of the Star Tribune has more.
Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com discusses the season of Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder with his position coach.
Vikings cornerback Chris Cook began practicing Thursday, the start of a two-week window before he could return from injured reserve, notes John Shipley of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Corey Williams has had a tough season because of a knee injury, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
It's been a looooong time since the Lions have won at Lambeau Field, notes Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News.
Releasing veteran safety Erik Coleman this week was a difficult decision for the Lions, writes Justin Rogers of Mlive.com.