We're Black and Blue All Over:
Wednesday afternoon, we noted the Detroit Lions had claimed cornerback Brandon McDonald off waivers but hadn't yet announced a corresponding move to open a roster spot. That mystery is now solved. Linebacker Zack Follett, the self-proclaimed "Pain Train" who rose to starting status during offseason workouts, was placed on injured reserve because of a scary neck injury suffered Oct. 17 against the New York Giants.
The injury is not believed to be career-threatening, but Follett won't play again this season. He is the seventh player the Lions have placed on injured reserve.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Lions were working Ashlee Palmer in Follett's position during practice Wednesday, according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News. Bobby Carpenter is another possibility for the job.
The Lions are expecting quarterback Matthew Stafford to be able to run all facets of their offense in his return, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on not getting sacked Sunday night by the Minnesota Vikings, via Gary D'Amato of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "It starts with the guys up front. I hope last week is the beginning of something special, because the way they protected really forced the defense into abandoning the rush and trying to jump and tip balls. As a quarterback, that's your best friend. When I can wake up Monday and Tuesday and feel that good, that's really encouraging."
Rodgers and the Packers' passing game will need to be on the same page Sunday against the New York Jets, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Packers players had no sympathy for the calls that went against the Vikings last Sunday, writes Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Vikings quarterback Brett Favre understands the expectations of coach Brad Childress, notes the Star Tribune.
Vikings fans aren't clamoring for backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson to start Sunday at the New England Patriots, notes Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com has the quote from Carl Johnson, the NFL's vice president of officiating, who said on the NFL Network that a 17-yard touchdown reception by tight end Visanthe Shiancoe on Sunday night should have been ruled a touchdown: "In the referee [Scott Green]'s judgment, he thought that there was movement, that there was some loss of control, in his judgment. However, as we further assessed the play, we saw that there was not enough to change this call, and therefore, we wished the ruling on the field would have stood as a completed catch. There just wasn't enough to overturn this call."
Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times on the tendency of Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz to paint a rosy picture: "It might be reassuring to hear the offensive coordinator speak so glowingly about the Bears' crushingly disappointing offense if not for his growing credibility gap. Since joining the Bears, Martz has gone out of his way to raise the stakes by continually gushing about his quarterback, receivers, running backs and even his offensive line. The problem is, the offense has performed far below expectations through the first seven games, and when asked for reasons why, it's almost impossible to get a straight answer."
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune: "No one seemed interested in embracing the cold facts -- this offense is in worse shape than it was a year ago"
The Bears plan to run more after they return from the bye, writes Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.