We’re Black and Blue (and moving on) All Over:
We spent some time this week discussing the impact of the NFL’s concussion policy on the return of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. So now let’s turn our attention to replacement Todd Collins, who at nearly 39 is still only the second-oldest starting quarterback in the NFC North. (Thank you, Brett Favre.)
After watching the New York Giants pile up 10 sacks Sunday night, I wondered if the Bears would turn to the more athletic and mobile Caleb Hanie. After all, Hanie was on track to be Cutler’s backup until suffering a preseason shoulder injury and conceivably would stand a better chance of escaping a heavy pass rush.
But overall, Collins is the safer choice for a 3-1 team playing the 0-4 Carolina Panthers, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.
Haugh: “The choice of the more proven Collins over the more athletic -- and potentially erratic -- Caleb Hanie makes sense against a winless opponent where the Bears quarterback will be asked only to not lose the game rather than win it. Hanie indeed may offer higher rewards with better mobility. But he is also a higher risk given his inexperience making decisions. Whereas Collins represents a safer, smarter option. ...”
In what has been a draining week for the Bears, I’ll buy into the decision to limit the risk by starting Collins.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The return of Bears defensive end Julius Peppers to Carolina has been subdued, writes Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com: “The Bears' Corey Graham is quietly having a Pro Bowl-caliber season. Already with 10 special teams tackles in only four games, Graham is on pace to break Tim Shaw's franchise record (30) set just last year.”
Green Bay Packers rookie Bryan Bulaga is the likely starter at right tackle this week against the Washington Redskins, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Bulaga appears set to get the nod over T.J. Lang with Mark Tauscher (shoulder) injured.
Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com on Tauscher’s status: “The team figures to reevaluate Tauscher after this week but it’s possible he’ll be out until the team’s Nov. 14 bye if the shoulder injury is deemed serious enough.”
Kareem Copeland of the Green Bay Press-Gazette breaks down the Packers’ options at safety, where Morgan Burnett (knee) has been placed on injured reserve and Nick Collins (knee) has also been limited in practice.
Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune reports that Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre was wearing an ice bag on his right elbow Thursday because of tendinitis.
Favre welcomed receiver Randy Moss to the team days before his 41st birthday, notes Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Moss picked up the tempo of the entire offense in Thursday’s practice, receiver Percy Harvin said via Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
The Detroit Lions have been without linebacker DeAndre Levy (ankle) and tight end Tony Scheffler (concussion) all week, notes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
The Lions’ three projected starting linebackers haven’t played together in a game this season, notes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.
The Lions are hoping to do a better job on St. Louis Rams tailback Steven Jackson this Sunday after he ran for 149 yards against them last year, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.