We're Black and Blue All Over:
Thursday, I threw out this thought on Twitter: "Will keep saying it. Childress, not foot, is Favre's biggest obstacle." So goes the prevailing sentiment about how the Minnesota Vikings will determine if quarterback Brett Favre will play Sunday against the New England Patriots.
The Star Tribune reports that while Favre thinks he can play with two fractures in his left foot, coach Brad Childress is leaning toward sitting him and starting Tarvaris Jackson. Childress has said several times that his job sometimes calls for him to protect people from themselves, a reference to Favre perhaps being blinded by his history and not realizing how hurt he is. But Childress is also well-known to be upset with Favre's 14 turnovers and tendency to veer from the offensive scheme this season.
This could all change Friday, the day Favre has targeted to return in some form to practice. By doing so, Favre could remove all doubt about this weekend -- one way or the other -- by his Friday performance. I know some of you aren't thrilled with how heavy we've covered this story, but to me it's a pretty big deal when a quarterback could potentially miss his first start in 292 games -- especially when we don't know if it will be because of injury or a coach's decision.
Continuing around the NFC North:
There is a "near-comical dichotomy" in the actions of Favre and Childress this week, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "For all the talk about Brett Favre's turnovers and the lack of production at wide receiver, the Vikings are 2-4 partly because of these averages for 12 opening drives this year: 4.5 plays, 13.58 yards, 2:55 time elapsed."
The odds don't look good for Green Bay Packers defensive linemen Cullen Jenkins and Ryan Pickett playing Sunday against the New York Jets, according to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tells the story of how defensive lineman Howard Green arrived in Green Bay.
Rookie Bryan Bulaga is playing well enough at right tackle that he might not relinquish the role to injured veteran Mark Tauscher, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Detroit Lions cornerback Jonathan Wade might have found a home as the team's nickelback, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
John Niyo of the Detroit News profiles Lions kick returner Stefan Logan.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune: "Rod Marinelli has fit the role of coordinator well as the Bears' third in as many seasons. You never would think this is a first for him in the NFL."
The numbers show improvement in the Bears' defense, writes Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
The Chicago Sun-Times looks to assess blame for the Bears' sack total.