Black and Blue all over: Staying healthy edition

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
It's not too hard to cull the primary goal of all four NFC North teams in Thursday night's preseason finales: Stay healthy.

Take this history lesson from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press: The last two times the Detroit Lions visited Buffalo for their preseason finale, as they will tonight, a significant injury occurred.

In 2003, starting tailback James Stewart separated his right shoulder and never played for the Lions again. In 2005, meanwhile, quarterback Jeff Garcia fractured his left fibula and sprained his ankle. He missed the next five games and wasn't very effective upon his return.

Those kind of horror stories will compel all four division coaches to limit starters to a series or two, at best, Thursday night. Most teams have a pretty good idea about their rosters and have only a few, if any, decisions remaining.

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • Both Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times and David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune mentioned Chicago Bears receiver Mark Bradley as player who doesn't seem to have a lock on a roster spot yet.

  • Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Johnny Jolly had his court case moved to Sept. 16. He was arrested July 8 in Houston for felony drug possession. Jolly could eventually face discipline from the NFL.

  • Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette takes a look at what it feels like to be cut. The Packers have to shed 22 players by 3 p.m. Saturday.

  • Minnesota Vikings safety Darren Sharper, describing himself: "I'm like a fine wine, a Cabernet-Merlot-Shiraz blend. It can do a lot of things. It gets better as you open it up and let it get out there and air out, filtrate, do all those things. I don't even need a decanter. Just let me go out there and run. Pour me in your mouth, suck it up and let it run."