NFC North: 2013 Week 7 NFL Buzz

Locker Room Buzz: Minnesota Vikings

October, 22, 2013
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Observed in the locker room following the Minnesota Vikings' 23-7 loss to the New York Giants:

Wilf staying course: Vikings owner Zygi Wilf admitted frustration after the team lost in his home state but dismissed the idea, at least for now, that the Vikings would consider any staff changes after a 1-5 start. "I'm sticking with my team," he said. "That's our team. We're going to stick with it." It's tough to tell if Wilf's comments qualify as the dreaded vote of confidence for coach Leslie Frazier & Co., but if the Vikings do have changes coming, they weren't happening on Monday night.

Peterson says Vikings have to be more physical: There have been few points in Adrian Peterson's career when he has looked as irrelevant as he did on Monday night. The league's reigning MVP gained just 28 yards on 13 carries, with only five of those coming in the second half. It was just the fourth time in Peterson's career that he has carried the ball more than 10 times and failed to gain less than 30 yards, and in the Vikings' past two games, Peterson has 23 carries for 90 yards. So what's wrong? Peterson says the Vikings' entire offense has lost some of its physical edge from last season. "The group as a whole, we just need to start hitting guys in the mouth," Peterson said. The running back said his strained right hamstring was bothering him at various points on Monday, but said the league's new rule prohibiting running backs from hitting defenders with the crown of their helmet hasn't weighed on his mind.

Sherels shoulders blame: Punt returner Marcus Sherels had the Vikings' only touchdown when he posted an 86-yard return in the first quarter. But a play after Sherels dropped a would-be interception that he could have returned for a touchdown in the third quarter, he fumbled a punt at the Vikings' 3-yard line, leading to a Giants touchdown. "Two mistakes there that changed the game," Sherels said. "Can't happen."

Jennings on Packers: Heading into next Sunday night's game with Green Bay, there will be plenty of talk about the verbal spat between wide receiver Greg Jennings and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers after Jennings left Green Bay and signed with the Vikings in March. But Jennings wasn't adding any fuel to that fire Monday night. "Honestly, it's another football game," he said. "We've got to win it. We haven't won in a long time, and it's another football game that gives us the opportunity to win it."

Locker Room Buzz: Green Bay Packers

October, 20, 2013
Observed in the locker room after the Green Bay Packers' 31-13 win over the Cleveland Browns n Sunday:

Still shaken: Tight end Andrew Quarless and receiver Jordy Nelson have the lockers immediately to the right and left of tight end Jermichael Finley. So it was not surprising that both were still visibly shaken after the game about the neck injury that forced Finley to be taken off on a stretcher. “I ain’t going to lie, man; I ain’t cried in a long time, but I definitely shed a tear for him,” Quarless said. Finley did not move for several minutes after he got hit by Browns safety Tashaun Gipson, but the Packers said he had movement and feeling in all of his extremities. “That’s honestly the first time (an injury) ever got me,” Nelson said. “I didn’t like what I saw.”

Lacy’s leap: Rookie running back Eddie Lacy's 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter gave him his first opportunity to do the Lambeau Leap. He was a little embarrassed about it afterward. “I just know the next time I’ve got to jump a lot higher,” Lacy said.

Throwback success: Count quarterback Aaron Rodgers among those who wouldn’t mind if the Packers wore their throwback jerseys that they donned on Sunday more often. “I think there’s definitely some sentiment in the locker room that the pants associated with the throwback jerseys and the throwback jerseys are pretty good luck for us,” Rodgers said. “So maybe a couple more times wearing those might not be a bad idea, Packers people.”

Early exit: Safety Jerron McMillian was one of the first ones out of the locker room after he played a reduced role. McMillian lost his spot as the dime defensive back a week after he misplayed two passes against the Baltimore Ravens. Rookie Micah Hyde played in McMillian’s place on defense, and McMillian played only on special teams. “I just play it by ear whenever they need me,” McMillian said. “If they don’t need me, I’ve just got to be ready for whatever the situation calls.”

Locker Room Buzz: Detroit Lions

October, 20, 2013
DETROIT -- Observed in the locker room after the Detroit Lions' 27-24 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals:

Silence: After one of the tougher losses Detroit has had in recent seasons -- and certainly its most difficult loss of this season -- it was mostly a silent, beat-up locker room after the game. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson and running back Reggie Bush declined to talk with reporters after the game.

Sitting at his locker: Give Sam Martin some credit. He did own up to the shanked punt, explained what happened and answered about two-and-a-half minutes of questions. After, though, he sat and stared at his locker for a while before long-snapper Don Muhlbach started to talk to him.

Watching the scene: After he was done with his media obligations, quarterback Matthew Stafford was one of the last players to leave the Lions' locker room. He sat in a corner and stared out at the rest of his guys. No one was really talking to him, just looking on in complete silence. Stafford, when asked after the game if it was one of the toughest losses he’s been a part of, he answered with one word: “Yep.”