We're Black and Blue All Over:
Although the Minnesota Vikings' and Green Bay Packers' weekly routines have moved up one day because of a Saturday night kickoff, their formal injury reports remain on the usual NFL schedule. As a result, Packers coach Mike McCarthy didn't have much to say about his team's injury situation other than confirming that defensive back Charles Woodson has been cleared to play for the first time in more than two months.
It seems likely that receiver Randall Cobb (ankle) will play, but the status of fellow receiver Jordy Nelson (knee) appears very much in the air. Nelson didn't practice Tuesday and McCarthy said he would provide more information on his status Wednesday, notes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
The Packers have played almost the entire season without a full complement of receivers, and so in some ways it would be standard procedure to be without Nelson against the Vikings. And at best, we know that the Vikings' best cornerback (Antoine Winfield) will be playing with a broken right hand. But in the playoffs, you always hope to have all hands on deck. The Packers might not.
Continuing around the NFC North:
It's not totally clear how the Packers will use Woodson after developing a nice rotation of defensive backs in his absence, writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
The Packers won't be able to deny the Chicago Bears permission to interview offensive coordinator Tom Clements for their head-coaching job, notes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Bears' primary mission is to find a head coach who can get the most out of quarterback Jay Cutler, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
Bears general manager Phil Emery was prepared to talk Tuesday about the state of his offensive line, notes Brad Biggs of the Tribune.
The Bears have more work to do beyond firing coach Lovie Smith, writes Scoop Jackson of ESPNChicago.com.
The Bears are looking for the next great NFL head coach, even if he is unknown at the moment, writes Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder was loose Tuesday during his weekly meeting with reporters, notes Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
This is the most surprising season in Vikings history, according to Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune.
This has been a trying year for Vikings receiver Jerome Simpson, writes Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Detroit Lions safety Amari Spievey has had concussion troubles for the past two years but expects to play in 2013, writes Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News.
The Lions wouldn't turn down a chance to coach at the Senior Bowl, according to Justin Rogers of Mlive.com.
The Lions signed 12 players to future contracts, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.