We're Black and Blue All Over:
It's been six games for Charles Woodson and four for Clay Matthews. The Green Bay Packers are heading into a game with direct playoff implications. So will it be all hands on deck Sunday at Soldier Field?
Packers coach Mike McCarthy didn't have any new details while meeting with reporters Monday, but it sure seems the team has targeted Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears for the return of both players. Woodson (collarbone) began practicing in a limited fashion last week, and Matthews could see his first on-field work Wednesday.
McCarthy said he was "hopeful" but is avoiding timetables on injuries that have proved unpredictable this season. With a division title in the balance, you can bet that both players will be pushing to get back on the field.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "The Green Bay Packers offense took a wrong turn somewhere, but after melding into a three-headed rushing attack Sunday night, it appears closer to the place it was during its Super Bowl run two years ago."
McCarthy wants to get running back DuJuan Harris on the field more, writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com looks at the possibilities for the Chicago Bears this offseason. His conclusion: "[B]e careful of what you ask for."
The first play of Sunday's game at the Metrodome was the worst for the Bears, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
The Bears need to work on takeaways if they want to beat the Packers this week, writes Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder did his part in playing keep-away against the Bears, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com in his weekly film review.
Fullback Jerome Felton has made a big impact on the Vikings, writes Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune.
Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson should win the NFL's MVP award, writes Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz wasn't happy with a celebration penalty that running back Joique Bell received Sunday night at Lambeau Field. Justin Rogers of Mlive.com explains.
When you lose, touchdown celebrations look stupid, writes John Niyo of the Detroit News.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press looks at a long list of decisions facing the Lions this offseason.