NFC North: Turk McBride

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman offered no definitive statement on the future of embattled defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, but Trestman praised the way Tucker handled the injury-riddled defense on multiple occasions during Thursday’s 90-minute joint news conference with team general manager Phil Emery.

However, Trestman said a direct conversation between himself and Tucker still needs to take place before he can comment on the status of his coaching staff.

“I don’t want anybody to read into anything what we are doing,” Trestman said. “Everything is on the table. We’re going through a very thoughtful and methodical process here. Other than that, we’ve talked enough at these press conferences that I’m hopeful you won’t [draw conclusions on the staff]. We’re going to look at everything because we have an obligation to do that and what I can do to get this football team better.

"Everything is on the table. Again, we’re just three days into this. All we’ve done is looked at some tape. This is a process that’s going to involve not just myself, but all of our coaches. It’ll be a process where we’ve left everything on the table.”

The Bears finished 2013 ranked No. 30 in total defense and dead last in rushing defense and yards allowed per play. The defense was also tied for 30th in points allowed and ranked 26th in sacks per pass play.

But the group did suffer key injuries to cornerback Charles Tillman, linebacker Lance Briggs, defensive tackles Henry Melton and Nate Collins, middle linebacker D.J. Williams, nickel back Kelvin Hayden and defensive lineman Turk McBride. Veteran defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis also opted to retire on the eve of training camp, further depleting the Bears’ depth on the defensive line.

When relatively healthy, the Bears' defense put up respectable numbers over the first three games of the regular season, but their performance sharply regressed as the year wore on.

“I think it’s a real shame that Mel got the raw end of the deal,” Bears cornerback Tim Jennings said.

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said on ESPN 1000’s “The Jay Cutler Show” on Monday that he believes Tucker will be the team’s defensive coordinator until “he lands a head coaching job” either in the NFL or college ranks.

Trestman said he and Emery work together when shaping the coaching staff, but Emery clarified that Trestman has final say on the matter.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Sunday's severe weather that delayed the Chicago Bears' home game against the Baltimore Ravens and damaged the Soldier Field natural-grass playing surface was not enough to convince the Bears to reconsider their long-standing opposition to having FieldTurf installed in their home stadium.

In an interview on Thursday with ESPN 1000's “Waddle and Silvy Show,” Chicago Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips cited safety issues as the reason for the organization's ongoing refusal to switch to an artificial surface.

“I've been with the Bears for 30 years, and this was the first and only time I ever remember having a storm like that blow in during a game where you had to relocate fans,” Phillips said. “To me, that's not a reason to go to FieldTurf. You can't make a knee-jerk decision. You can't do that. It's a health and safety concern. We're still not at the point where we feel that artificial surfaces play as well, or even as close to grass.

“It's hard enough. Look at the kind of injuries we've had this year. I'm not blaming it on any kinds of surfaces, necessarily, but why go to the extra risk of injuries when you see the results of medical surveys that indicate that the risk of lower-leg injuries is significantly higher [on] artificial surfaces.

“Until that time comes when it gets to be a little closer to how grass plays, I wouldn't see us changing.”

Soldier Field was ranked the NFL's third-worst playing surface when the NFLPA released the 2010 NFL Players Playing Surfaces Opinion Survey back in February 2011 -- 1,619 players from all 32 teams participated in the survey.

However, according to the report, 32 of the 39 Bears' players surveyed felt that artificial surfaces are more likely to contribute to injuries than natural grass, and 74.4 percent of the Bears preferred grass to artificial surfaces.

Interestingly, all four lower-leg injuries the Bears have suffered in 2013 have occurred on natural grass: cornerback Kelvin Hayden (Soldier Field Family Night), defensive tackle Nate Collins (Soldier Field), defensive tackle Henry Melton (Heinz Field, Pittsburgh) and defensive lineman Turk McBride (Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, Ill.).
CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears defensive tackle Nate Collins sustained a left knee injury in the third quarter against the New Orleans Saints and has been ruled out for the remainder of the game.

Collins hurt the knee while attempting to pressure Saints quarterback Drew Brees on a pass attempt. Collins' knee appeared to buckle as he was tied up with a New Orleans offensive lineman. The four-year veteran defensive lineman grabbed his knee after falling to the ground and remained on the turf for a short period of time before eventually walking back to the locker room under his own power.

Collins moved into the Bears’ starting lineup after Pro Bowl defensive tackle Henry Melton suffered a season-ending ACL tear. Entering Sunday’s game versus the Saints, Collins led all Bears defensive linemen with 10 tackles through the first four games. Collins also recorded two quarterback pressures and forced one fumble.

The Bears are perilously thin on their defensive line. Not only are Turk McBride and Melton already on injured reserve, but starting nose tackle Stephen Paea was inactive on Sunday because of toe injury. The Bears also lost another prospective body on the defensive line when veteran tackle Sedrick Ellis announced his retirement on the eve of training camp.

Because of the rash of injuries on the defensive line, relative newcomer Landon Cohen and undrafted rookie Zach Minter are both in the defensive tackle rotation on Sunday, along with Corey Wootton, who the club bumped inside from his customary defensive end spot. David Bass is seeing significant playing time outside at end.

It's franchise tag day -- sort of

February, 10, 2011
Officially, Thursday is the first day NFL teams can place a franchise tag on players whose contracts are expiring and would otherwise be eligible for unrestricted free agency.

But in one of many twists we can expect in the structure of the 2011 offseason, the NFL Players Association has declared the franchise tag to be irrelevant until a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is reached.

The existing CBA will expire March 3, and the reality is no players will be changing teams this offseason -- whether they are franchised or not -- until the league reaches a labor resolution.

It is possible, however, that players who are franchised now could be grandfathered into the next CBA. So it's at least worth discussing who might be candidates here in the NFC North. The exact salary levels, as well as the number of years required for unrestricted free agency, are yet to be determined. Below we've included players with at least four years of experience.

Team: Chicago Bears
Prominent players with expiring contracts: Defensive tackle Anthony Adams, tight end Desmond Clark, cornerback Corey Graham, quarterback Caleb Hanie, center Olin Kreutz, safety Danieal Manning, punter Brad Maynard, linebacker Nick Roach and linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa.
Comment: Kreutz probably doesn't need to be protected with a tag. Hanie could garner interest around the league but would you guarantee him franchise money to stay?

Team: Detroit Lions
Prominent players with expiring contracts: Safety C.C. Brown, cornerback Chris Houston, defensive end Turk McBride and quarterback Drew Stanton.
Comment: Tom Kowalski of reports the Lions won't use the tag.

Team: Green Bay Packers
Prominent players with expiring contracts:
Safety Jarrett Bush, left guard Daryn Colledge, running back Brandon Jackson, receiver James Jones, defensive end Cullen Jenkins and running back John Kuhn.
Comment: Jenkins is a possibility, although the Packers have a young player in Mike Neal who might be ready to take over his spot next season. Colledge's status is uncertain.

Team: Minnesota Vikings
Prominent players with expiring contracts:
Defensive end Ray Edwards, linebacker Chad Greenway, linebacker Ben Leber, receiver Sidney Rice, defensive end Brian Robison and nose tackle Pat Williams.
Comment: Greenway and Rice are young players the Vikings would hate to part ways with. They have seemed cooler on Edwards' status.

BBAO: Defending Greg Jennings

January, 14, 2011
We're Black and Blue All Over

Green Bay Packers receiver Greg Jennings caught 62 passes over the final 11 weeks of the regular season, and so it was probably no surprise that the Philadelphia Eagles centered their defensive game plan around stopping him in last Sunday's wild-card playoff game. Jennings finished with one reception for 8 yards, his lowest output since 2006, but probably helped open up the running game for rookie tailback James Starks.

Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel examines the situation and wonders if the Atlanta Falcons will follow a similar game plan. Jennings: "I talked to one of their guys after the game, Ellis Hobbs, and he basically said, 'We were doubling you wherever you went.' It was clearly visible what they were doing from the jump."

The Falcons might be well-advised to do the same. Jennings has been especially dangerous in indoor venues in his career, averaging nearly 19 yards per catch, and had five receptions for 119 yards in the teams' Week 12 matchup at the Georgia Dome.

Continuing around the NFC North:

Free Head Exam: Detroit Lions

December, 13, 2010
After the Detroit Lions' 7-3 victory over the Green Bay Packers, here are three issues that merit further examination:
Head Exam
Kevin SeifertFollowing their win over Green Bay, the Lions make their trip to the examination room.

  1. It was really interesting to watch coach Jim Schwartz speak directly to groups of players on the sideline during a couple of fourth-quarter timeouts. Given his message of last week, it wasn't too hard to figure out what he was imploring them to do: Finish. As you know, the Lions have been ahead or within five points of the lead in the fourth quarters of all 10 losses this season. From a play perspective, there hasn't been much separating them from a number of additional victories. Sunday, the Lions got a taste for how you close out a tight game against a good team. Say what you want about the Packers' final play -- quarterback Matt Flynn overthrew an open Greg Jennings for what would have been a go-ahead touchdown -- but the Lions can be proud that they played well enough in the fourth quarter that only a perfect pass would have beaten them. That's progress.
  2. The amazing thing about how well the Lions' defensive line played was that most of the performance came with two of their original four starters out of action. Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch is on injured reserve, and fellow defensive end Cliff Avril was limited throughout by an injury. But Turk McBride (!) filled in with two sacks, while Lawrence Jackson and Andre Fluellen each had one. In a template of what the Lions planned in their best-case scenarios last offseason, their defensive line kept Flynn and even Aaron Rodgers off-balance all game. Unofficially, the Lions sacked or hit the quarterback on eight dropbacks. That's enough pressure to force a quarterback to keep one eye on the rush instead of two downfield.
  3. Nearly lost in the excitement was backup right tackle Corey Hilliard's performance in relief of injured starter Gosder Cherilus. The Packers did their best to match Hilliard up with linebacker Clay Matthews as often as possible, but Hilliard held up pretty well. Matthews had a sack, but his impact was limited for most of the game. "I don't think we can overlook the job that Corey Hilliard did on Clay Matthews," Schwartz said. "Clay Matthews is arguably the best pass-rusher in the NFL and Corey played outstanding. They looked for that matchup. They matched it up against him most of the game. And Corey stepped in and did a great job."
And here is one issue I don't get:
I wonder why more teams aren't more willing to adjust their scheme based on the strengths of their personnel. Everything we've seen from Lions No. 3 quarterback Drew Stanton suggests he isn't equipped to be a traditional drop-back passer. So kudos to Schwartz and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan for shifting into more of a college-style spread offense that utilizes Stanton's mobility and puts him in the shotgun more often, where he appears to be more comfortable. Stanton's passing numbers were forgettable, but his 44 rushing yards -- and the threat of more -- surely was the Lions' best chance for getting a winning effort.

NFC North Friday injury report

December, 3, 2010
Getting inside the Friday injury report, including less-than-positive updates on a number of prominent players around the division:

Chicago Bears: Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee) won't play Sunday against the Detroit Lions, coach Lovie Smith said. Nick Roach will make his second start in three games. Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune reports Tinoisamoa experienced significant swelling his right knee this week but at this point is not considered a long-term injury situation. All other Bears players should be available.

Detroit Lions: Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (knee) did not practice this week, is listed as doubtful and is not expected to play against the Bears -- a huge loss for a Lions team that is disintegrating from a personnel standpoint. Turk McBride and Lawrence Jackson are expected to play in Vanden Bosch's position, but neither can offer the leadership and tenacity Vanden Bosch has provided all season. The Lions listed right tackle Gosder Cherilus (knee) as questionable, but he practiced Friday and seems likely to play. Other than quarterbacks Matthew Stafford (shoulder) and Shaun Hill (finger), all other players will be available Sunday.

Green Bay Packers: Cornerback Pat Lee (ankle) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers. Safeties Atari Bigby (hamstring) and Anthony Smith (ankle) are listed as doubtful, but not expected to play. All other players should be available.

Minnesota Vikings: Tailback Adrian Peterson (ankle) practiced Friday and seems on track to play in at least some capacity Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Receiver Percy Harvin missed a second consecutive day of practice because of migraine headaches and is listed as questionable. Of all the migraine bouts Harvin has endured in the past two years, only one has kept him from playing in a game. Left guard Steve Hutchinson sat out the entire week of practice to limit impact on his fractured thumb and will be a game-time decision Sunday. Rookie Chris DeGeare would replace him if necessary. Meanwhile, cornerback Chris Cook was ruled out for a second consecutive week because of a knee injury.

Checking in on Thursday injuries

December, 2, 2010
Let's take a rare Thursday trip through the NFC North injury report, which has more than a few big names on it.

Chicago Bears: Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa was limited in practice because of a knee injury that kept him out of the Bears' Week 11 game at the Miami Dolphins. Coach Lovie Smith told reporters that the injury is "a little bit of a concern for him." Nick Roach would replace Tinoisamoa against the Detroit Lions if necessary.

Detroit Lions: We already know the Lions won't have either of their top two quarterbacks Sunday against the Bears. They could also be without defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (neck) and right tackle Gosder Cherilus (knee). Neither player practiced Thursday. Vanden Bosch, who had 10 solo tackles in the Lions' Week 1 game against the Bears, would probably be replaced by Turk McBride or Lawrence Jackson.

Minnesota Vikings: Tailback Adrian Peterson (ankle), left guard Steve Hutchinson (thumb) and defensive end Ray Edwards (ankle) are scheduled to practice Friday, interim coach Leslie Frazier told reporters. Peterson told reporters that he thinks he'll be able to play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills but that he wants to test his ankle in practice first.

(The Green Bay Packers haven't released their injury report yet. I'll update this post if it contains any significant news.)

Deactivations from around the NFC North

November, 14, 2010
CHICAGO -- There were no huge surprises among the game-day deactivations just announced in the Soldier Field press box.

Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin (migraines) will play and is in the starting lineup. Cornerback Asher Allen (concussion) is inactive and will be replaced by rookie Chris Cook. Lito Sheppard and Frank Walker will rotate in the nickel. That's a good matchup for the Chicago Bears.

The Bears will be without cornerback Zack Bowman (foot) for another week, but otherwise are at full strength.

In Buffalo, meanwhile, the Detroit Lions announced that left end Cliff Avril won't play against the Bills. Turk McBride will replace him in the starting lineup. Also, Amari Spievey will again replace injured safety C.C. Brown.

NFC North Friday injury report

October, 29, 2010
Getting inside the Friday injury report:

Detroit Lions: Linebacker DeAndre Levy (groin/ankle) and receiver Bryant Johnson (foot) and defensive end Turk McBride (ankle) are questionable. Levy has indicated he will try to play Sunday against the Washington Redskins in what would be his second start of the year. Other than quarterback Shaun Hill (arm), all other players will be available.

Green Bay Packers: Defensive end Cullen Jenkins (calf) returned to practice Friday and has a chance to play Sunday against the New York Jets. Like defensive end Ryan Pickett (ankle), he is listed as questionable. But it appears Jenkins has a better chance of playing than Pickett. Receiver Donald Driver (quad) also practiced Friday and is listed as probable. As we noted earlier, coach Mike McCarthy has already decided that cornerback Al Harris (knee) won't be activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Safety Atari Bigby (ankle) hasn't been ruled out.

Minnesota Vikings: Quarterback Brett Favre (foot) was listed as questionable, but his status obviously won't be determined until Sunday. The Vikings also listed cornerback Lito Sheppard (hand) and guard Chris DeGeare (ankle) as questionable, but all other players will be available.
Getting inside a lengthy and star-studded Friday injury report.

Chicago Bears: Linebacker Lance Briggs (ankle) is officially listed as questionable but did not practice at all this week and is highly unlikely to play Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Instead, Brian Iwuh is the likely starter at weak-side linebacker. It will be only the fourth game Briggs has missed in his career. The Bears kept Iwuh on their 53-man roster over special-teams ace Tim Shaw because they thought Iwuh was a better defensive replacement. We should find out if that's a wise decision.

Detroit Lions: Middle linebacker DeAndre Levy (ankle/groin) is out and backup Landon Johnson (concussion) is questionable. If Johnson can't play Sunday against the New York Giants, Ashlee Palmer is the likely starter. Defensive end Turk McBride (ankle) and cornerback Nathan Vasher (nose/biceps) have also been ruled out. Receiver Calvin Johnson (shoulder) is questionable but would be limited at best if he plays. The Lions listed quarterback Matthew Stafford (shoulder) as questionable, but there is no way he plays Sunday.

Green Bay Packers: First, the good news: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers (concussion) practiced for the second consecutive day and is listed as probable for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins. Now for the bad news. Linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring) is doubtful and seems highly unlikely to play. Brady Poppinga will likely still take his spot in the starting lineup. Right tackle Mark Tauscher (shoulder) is also doubtful and will miss his second consecutive game. Defensive lineman Ryan Pickett (ankle) and Mike Neal (shoulder) are both questionable, which is why the Packers re-signed veteran Mike Montgomery on Friday morning.

Minnesota Vikings: Quarterback Brett Favre is questionable because of elbow tendinitis that coach Brad Childress has downplayed all week. Friday, Childress admitted Favre struggled with his accuracy this week, but there seems to be no chance Favre will miss Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys. Jon Cooper is expected to start at center for John Sullivan (calf). Cornerback Chris Cook (knee) is listed as questionable but would have to make a lot of progress by Sunday morning in order to play.

BBAO: Your Favre-free zone

August, 18, 2010
We're Black and Blue All Over:

Thanks to everyone for their patience during what was a wild Tuesday afternoon in the NFC North. Brett Favre's return to Minnesota forced us to cancel our weekly SportsNation chat, which I promise to make up later this week, and veered us from our division-wide mission for one day.

I'll be at the Vikings' Winter Park practice facility Wednesday afternoon, having taken the team's statement that "media availability with QB Brett Favre is to be determined" as quasi-confirmation that he has in fact been reinstated to the roster. But we'll also resume coverage of the entire division, beginning with our morning spin.

Suamico72 -- who, like me, never sleeps but unlike me is counting consecutive FavreWatch posts -- will be so disappointed.
  • After a few swings and misses, the Chicago Bears brought in free-agent quarterback Matt Gutierrez for a visit as a potential short-term replacement to injured backup Caleb Hanie.'s Jeff Dickerson has more.
  • The "turbo" gear of Bears tailback Matt Forte has been evident in training camp, writes Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
  • Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune: "Frank Omiyale's adventure at right tackle has been much smoother than a year ago, when the Bears inserted him at left guard. Omiyale graded out well in Saturday's exhibition opener, and the Bears are hoping that will serve as a building block for the offensive line. He looked more comfortable and natural, even if he's more accustomed to the left side, after struggling to play with proper leverage a year ago."
  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "Last week in the middle of training camp, when tired legs and body aches were beginning to set in, Turk McBride gave the rest of the [Detroit] Lions defensive linemen a pick-me-up by hanging stuffed monkeys in their lockers."
  • Lions coach Jim Schwartz had to cut Tuesday's practice short because of "an acute personnel shortage in the secondary," according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News. Here is McCosky's rundown of the injury list: Cornerbacks Jonathan Wade (finger), Dre Bly (thigh), Aaron Berry (hamstring) and Jack Williams (knee), and safeties Louis Delmas (groin), Dante Wesley (unspecified) and Ko Simpson (knee). Safety Randy Phillips also left the field because of dehydration.
  • Rookie Lions defensive end Willie Young flashed enough promise in last Saturday's preseason opener at Pittsburgh to make veteran end Jason Hunter expendable, writes Tom Kowalski of
  • The Green Bay Packers' fluid situation at outside linebacker has yet to clear itself up, writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
  • The Packers passed on signing free-agent tailback Brian Westbrook, who ultimately landed in San Francisco, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • Uh-oh. Oft-injured Packers defensive lineman Justin Harrell experienced tightness in his back Tuesday and sat out both practices, according to Jason Wilde of
We're Black and Blue All over:

A plea for everyone: Hold on. I can't always control the tilt toward Brett Favre coverage on this blog, but rest assured that my training camp tour schedule remains intact this year. That means I'll be with the Detroit Lions for another day before heading off to spend three days with the Green Bay Packers.

But we do have a couple of new Favre angles to touch on since we last met. First, as you might recall, we discussed the possibility Tuesday of the Vikings offering Favre more money to ensure he plays this season. Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune reports they have already done just that.

According to the report, the Vikings are offering him a $3 million raise with another $4 million in incentives. That means he would earn at least $16 million and up to $20 million this season. We'll see if that entices him.

We also expressed caution in ever trusting a Favre retirement announcement, much less indications he might be giving behind the scenes. According to former NFL coach Steve Mariucci, Favre is telling some people that he simply wants more time to let his ankle heal. If that's the case, it's unclear why he would be telling some players that he's not planning to play. He has at least one week and probably more before the Vikings would need him to start practicing.

Again, I'll be out at Lions practice this morning and am ready to see defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh on the field, probably for the afternoon session. For now, let's catch up on the rest of the division:

Third and one: Lions

November, 9, 2009
Posted by’s Kevin Seifert

After Detroit’s 32-20 loss at Seattle, here are three (mostly) indisputable facts I feel relatively sure about:
  1. Some of coach Jim Schwartz’s lineup changes are taking on a Belichickian quality. Schwartz got his NFL start under Bill Belichick in Cleveland. And like his mentor, Schwartz isn’t afraid to match starting lineups with an opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. On Sunday, that meant deactivating nose tackle Grady Jackson and jumbling his starting lineup. Schwartz started three defensive ends -- Turk McBride, Cliff Avril and Dewayne White -- and linebacker Julian Peterson as his four defensive lineman in a nickel arrangement. (At least, that’s what the NFL’s official gamebook reported.) That smaller, quicker group helped limit Seattle tailback Julius Jones to 36 yards on 16 carries. Unfortunately, the Lions couldn’t do much to stop quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who completed 39 of his 51 attempts.
  2. I’m continually amazed by the revolving door not only in the Lions’ starting lineup, but on their roster overall. Three of their starters Sunday -- McBride, nickelback Kevin Hobbs and safety Ko Simpson -- joined the team after Sept. 1. I don’t know that any of them have futures with the team, but it’s clear that the Lions will continue to give real-time tryouts as they try to upgrade their talent following the Matt Millen era.
  3. Losing a 17-0 first-quarter lead was only the latest chapter in a season’s worth of missed opportunities. “Sustaining” should be among the mantras of their offseason. I don’t think the Lions are consciously relaxing after taking leads. If anything, it represents an understandably shallow pool of options in Schwartz’s first season. NFL games are chess matches, and the Lions don’t have enough countermoves yet. Sunday, they accomplished their goal of stopping the Seahawks’ running game but couldn’t do much to limit Hasselbeck.
And here is one question I’m still asking:
It’s clear quarterback Matthew Stafford’s right knee isn’t fully healed from an Oct. 4 injury. But the question is this: Is Stafford healthy enough to play effectively? I don’t see him struggling to move or putting himself in an otherwise compromising situation. So I don’t think the Lions are risking further injury by playing him. But some of the ducks he threw Sunday are indicative of a quarterback who doesn’t feel totally confident while stepping into a throw or has lost some leg strength or upset his mechanics while recovering.

NFC North Friday injury report

October, 16, 2009

Posted by’s Kevin Seifert

Getting inside the Friday injury report:

Chicago Bears: To little surprise, tailback Adrian Peterson (knee) and linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer (ribs) are doubtful and won’t play Sunday night at Atlanta. Defensive lineman Israel Idonije (knee) returned to practice and has a shot to play. Defensive tackle Anthony Adams (toe) is questionable, as is linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa. But Tinoisamoa is expected to play.

Detroit Lions: Quarterback Matthew Stafford (knee) and receiver Calvin Johnson (knee) are listed as questionable but missed practice Friday and likely won’t play Sunday at Green Bay. The Lions are also likely to be without three other starters: Defensive tackle Sammie Lee Hill (ankle), defensive end Dewayne White (hamstring) and defensive end Jason Hunter (ankle). That could leave Turk McBride and Cliff Avril as the starting defensive ends. Safety Ko Simpson (hamstring) is doubtful.

Green Bay Packers: Korey Hall (calf), tackle Mark Tauscher (knee) and tailback DeShawn Wynn (knee) won’t play. The Packers should have all other players available, including tailback Brandon Jackson (ankle) as the primary backup to Ryan Grant. That also includes left tackle Chad Clifton (ankle).

Minnesota Vikings: Punt returner Darius Reynaud (hamstring) isn’t expected to play Sunday against Baltimore. Receiver Percy Harvin (shoulder) is listed as questionable but should play. If right tackle Phil Loadholt (ankle) can’t play, Artis Hicks would start in his place.




Thursday, 9/4
Sunday, 9/7
Monday, 9/8