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Saturday, December 26, 2009
NFC North this weekend

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Greetings from the snowy Upper Midwest. I’ve been in three of the four NFC North locales in the past 36 hours -- Minnesota, Chicago and Green Bay -- and I can tell you we’re all getting pretty well socked.

It snowed for most of my drive from the O’Hare area to Green Bay, and flurries are forecast to continue here through Sunday. But we push through such things around here, so in that spirit, let’s catch up on news that has taken place during the holiday weekend.

Chicago Bears: Safety Kevin Payne (ankle) is listed as doubtful for Monday’s game against Minnesota, and fellow safety Al Afalava (knee) is questionable. According to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago, Josh Bullocks and Craig Steltz might end up being the Bears’ starting safety duo against the Vikings. Receiver Devin Hester (calf) is questionable.

Detroit Lions: The Lions signed free-agent quarterback Patrick Ramsey to give them a full depth chart behind starter Drew Stanton for Sunday’s game at San Francisco. Ramsey takes the roster spot of Matthew Stafford, who was placed on injured reserve this week. … Cornerback Phillip Buchanon (shoulder) won’t play against the 49ers.

Green Bay Packers: Nose tackle Ryan Pickett (hamstring) is questionable for Sunday’s game against Seattle. His status will be determined Sunday morning. B.J. Raji would start in his place.

Minnesota Vikings: Nose tackle Pat Williams (elbow) is listed as questionable for Monday night’s game but is expected to play.