NFC North: Darnell Bing
Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
We’re making a quick turnaround into Week 5 for two Black and Blue teams. Minnesota and Detroit will be back at work Wednesday to begin preparations for Sunday’s games, although Vikings coach Brad Childress has lightened up his team’s practice load and pushed it back to late afternoon to give players more time to recover from Monday night’s game.
Chicago and the Green Bay, meanwhile, are both in their bye week. It’s a little earlier than the ideal scenario, but both teams will make good use of it. The Bears have several injured players who will have an extra week to heal, including receiver Devin Hester and linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer. And the Packers will have time to address a number of disturbing trends that have surfaced over the first month of the season.
I’ll take a look at each team’s situation at the bye later this week. For now, let’s go for a spin around the division:
- Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel addresses the issue of responsibility for the Packers’ 20 sacks allowed this season. Both the offensive line and quarterback Aaron Rodgers are to blame.
- Rodgers deserves at least partial blame on five of the eight sacks he absorbed Monday night against the Vikings, writes Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
- Lions coach Jim Schwartz is “ruthless,” according to Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
- The Lions waived linebacker Darnell Bing and promoted rookie Zack Follett from the practice squad, notes Kowalski.
- Lions defensive end Cliff Avril played about 20-25 snaps Sunday against Chicago in his return from a hamstring injury, according to Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.
- Chicago defensive end Adewale Ogunleye, whose contract expires after this season, would “love” to finish his career with the Bears, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago.
- Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times offers the Bears a five-step improvement process, beginning with better play in the first quarter.
- Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reflects on a 4.5-sack night for Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen.
- Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune looks back on the Vikings’ goal-line stand in the third quarter Monday night.
We'll use the blog today as a clearinghouse for all NFC North practice squad news. (Wow. There's a sentence you might not have read before.)
We expect teams to announce their lists throughout the day Sunday, so check back this afternoon and evening.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
- WR Jake Allen
- C Brennen Carvalho
- TE Joey Haynos
- LB Danny Lansanah
- DT Alfred Malone
- CB Joe Porter
- WR Brett Swain
- RB DeShawn Wynn
Of note: The Packers released Wynn during the first round of roster cuts, but he did start four games last season and gives them an excellent internal insurance policy should an injury occur elsewhere. Haynos is an interesting physical prospect at 6-foot-8 and should at least give the Packers' defense a good look on the scout team.
- LB Darnell Bing
- OL Matt Butler
- RB Allen Ervin
- WR Eric Fowler
- QB Drew Henson
- S LaMarcus Hicks
- WR Kenneth Moore
Of note: The Lions made two other roster moves, signing linebacker Ryan Nece and claiming runing back Marcus Thomas off waivers. Thomas, a fifth-round pick of San Diego this year, gives the Lions a third tailback behind Kevin Smith and Tatum Bell. To make room for Nece and Thomas, the Lions released linebacker Anthony Cannon and fullback/tight end Sean McHugh.
Linebacker Takeo Spikes' decision to sign with San Francisco left the Detroit Lions in the same predicament they've been in for most of the summer: Mulling changes in the configuration of their incumbent linebackers.
Ernie Sims is stationed on the weak side in the Lions' 4-3 scheme, but the other two positions remain in play with three preseason games to go. Detroit was hoping to bring in Spikes to play on the strong side, according to this analysis in the Detroit Free Press, but for now Alex Lewis is competing with Leon Joe and Darnell Bing for the position.
Rookie Jordon Dizon is running with the second team behind Paris Lenon at middle linebacker, but the Lions might move Lenon to the strong side if and when Dizon gets up to speed on playing the middle linebacker spot.
We plan to be on the ground in Detroit (finally) on Wednesday and will update you on the linebacker position, among others, when we get there.
Elsewhere around the NFC North:
- Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy on the preseason debut of quarterback Aaron Rodgers: "I thought Aaron did a number of solid things."
- Chicago Bears offensive line coach Harry Hiestand on the public hand-wringing over the state of the Bears' offensive line: "I don't know why everybody is so excited about that. God Almighty. I mean, jeez."
- The best thing going for Bears rookie quarterback Caleb Hanie? His last name isn't "Orton" or "Grossman," writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.