We're Black and Blue All Over:
It's not unusual for an NFL player to undergo offseason knee surgery, as Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan did last week, via Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
The type of surgery Sullivan had is not typical, however. A surgeon in the office of Dr. James Andrews performed a microfracture procedure on his left knee that probably will curtail most offseason work. The surgery typically includes drilling small holes in the bone to help spur the healing, or limit the damage of, injured cartilage, and has been associated with serious long-term conditions.
Pelissero reports that Sullivan's injury is not as severe as it could have been, which makes sense considering he did not miss a snap in 2012 on the way to the best season of his career. As always, we'll take our cues on this from the Vikings' offseason action or inaction. If they sign or draft a center, you'll know they are concerned about Sullivan's status. If not, you can assume they think he'll be ready for the start of training camp.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Vikings are hoping to host the Super Bowl at their new stadium in 2018, notes Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Former Green Bay Packers receiver Donald Driver has "a chance to flourish in retirement," writes Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "How Driver lasted 14 seasons with one team is one of the great imponderables of the late 20th, early 21st centuries."
One of Driver's most remarkable catches was a 61-yard touchdown play against the San Francisco 49ers in 2010. Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com has more.
Jon Greenberg of ESPNChicago.com has the latest on the Chicago Bears' decision to raise ticket prices for 2013. The average ticket price has risen 30 percent since 2009.
Bears fans are miffed about the ticket increase, according to Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times, but demand remains high.
The Chicago Tribune has a chart breakdown of the new prices.
The Detroit Lions signed free-agent cornerback Domonique Johnson to a reserve/futures contract, notes Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.
Terry Foster of the Detroit News is convinced that receiver Titus Young will cause the same issues in St. Louis as he did in Detroit.