Sunday, September 4, 2011
Quick hits: Mike Neal, Cobb practice
By Kevin Seifert
Let's account for a few Sunday afternoon newsbits in quick-hitting fashion ...
Item: The Green Bay Packers are back at practice Sunday in preparation for Thursday's season opener (!) against the New Orleans Saints.
Comment: According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a number of injured players have returned. That list includes tight end Jermichael Finley, receiver Randall Cobb and defensive end Mike Neal. I'll have more on the start of Week 1 in a bit.
Item: The Packers slipped several valued players through waivers and signed them to their practice squad.
Comment: Receivers Tori Gurley and Chastin West, along with quarterback Graham Harrell, were all part of the practice squad Sunday. It was particularly important to keep Harrell in the program with No. 2 quarterback Matt Flynn's contract set to expire after this season.
Item: The Detroit Lions waived running back Aaron Brown and center Chris Morris. They reportedly claimed offensive lineman Jacques McClendon from the Indianapolis Colts. At the moment, the second roster spot is unfilled.
Comment: Veteran running back Chester Taylor signed with the Arizona Cardinals, eliminating that possibility for the Lions. It's not clear if Brown's departure means another running back is on the way in, or if he was simply the least-valued player remaining on the Lions' 53-man roster. We'll keep you updated.
Item: The Minnesota Vikings claimed linebacker Xavier Adibi from the Houston Texans.
Comment: The Vikings are a 4-3 team and Adibi has mostly played inside in a 3-4 scheme, but depth was a critical issue here. Only five linebackers were on the original 53-man roster, and Adibi provides credible insurance should a starter be injured.