NFC North: Terrelle Smith
Detroit Lions: Long-snapper Don Muhlbach’s concussion forced the Lions to sign free agent long snapper Nathan Hodel. The Lions also claimed guard Roy Schuening off waivers from Oakland. They released fullback Terrelle Smith and tight end Dan Gronkowski to make room on the roster. Safety Louis Delmas (ankle), receiver Calvin Johnson (knee) and quarterback Matthew Stafford (shoulder) were among those who did not practice.
Green Bay Packers: Linebacker Nick Barnett (knee) returned to practice. Cornerback Brandon Underwood (hip) missed practice for the second consecutive day.
Minnesota Vikings: Receiver Percy Harvin (migraines) missed another day of practice, making it more difficult to imagine he will be available for Sunday night’s game against Carolina. Receiver Sidney Rice (illness) did not practice because of an illness.
Posted by ESPN.com staff
- Devin Hester as a part of the Wildcat formation? ChicagoBears.com's Larry Mayer says anything is possible.
- Pro Football Weekly's Dan Arkush says "it seems a bit premature to be talking about Super Bowl aspirations" just because the Bears now have Jay Cutler in the mix.
- Terrelle Smith could land the job as the Lions' starting fullback, but he doesn't expect to see many carries.
- Former Lions safety Gerald Alexander said he was surprised by the trade that landed him in Jacksonville.
- Fellow rookie quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez are leaning on each other as they prepare for their first season in the NFL.
Green Bay Packers
- The Packers are going back to the basics when it comes to their kick return game.
Continuing what feels like an all-Detroit day, we bring you this exciting news: The Lions announced they have signed free-agent receiver Ronald Curry and fullback Terrelle Smith to one-year contracts.
Curry and Smith both visited Detroit earlier this week. Both players should be available for the Lions' mandatory minicamp, which opens Monday.
Curry will get a chance to compete for the Lions' No. 3 receiver position behind Calvin Johnson and Bryant Johnson. Smith will compete with Jerome Felton for the top fullback job. Last year's starting fullback, Moran Norris, departed via free agency.
Some quick hitters on a Wednesday evening:
Detroit is considering every avenue to improve its receiving corps. The Lions signed Bryant Johnson early in free agency and on Monday claimed Will Franklin off waivers from Kansas City. Wednesday, according to Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com, the Lions hosted free agent Ronald Curry on a visit. No indication as of yet if the Lions plan to sign him, but we're getting close to that point where teams and players start holding off decisions until after the draft. Earlier this week, the Lions hosted free agent fullback Terrelle Smith, who spent the previous nine seasons with Arizona, Cleveland and New Orleans.
When news surfaced about Duke basketball player Greg Paulus working out for Green Bay last week, it wasn't immediately clear what position the Packers were evaluating him at. Paulus was a high school quarterback in Syracuse, N.Y., but it seemed unlikely that anyone would consider him a candidate to jump into the NFL at that position. Well, the football coach at Duke agrees. David Cutcliffe said Wednesday he had offered Paulus a chance to try out as a slot receiver but there was "no way" he could handle the transition to quarterback at a Division I level.
Detroit's Jim Schwartz is a rookie head coach, but he's a veteran at spewing total mumbo jumbo about the draft. Speaking to Detroit reporters Wednesday, Schwartz claimed the Lions haven't finished stacking their board and said: "You don't start at the top, you go by positions usually. Generally what you do is you start by positions. You'll go through there and then once all the positions are done, then you'll start going line by line. You guys ever hear the horizontal and vertical nature? Right now, we're still vertical. We haven't started going horizontal across positions yet." Whatever. (Seriously, I think the "horizontal" reference refers to teams ranking players who receive the same or very similar grades.)
Closing the book on the blockbuster trade that sent Green Bay long snapper J.J. Jansen to Carolina, ESPN's John Clayton reports the Packers will receive a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2011 draft. And before you ask, I have no idea whom the Packers might be targeting with that pick.