We're Black and Blue All Over:
Thanks to a statement from the Detroit Lions and the usual excellent reporting from ESPN's Chris Mortensen, we finally have some clarity on quarterback Matthew Stafford's 9-day-old right shoulder injury.
Stafford visited Monday with Dr. James Andrews, whom the Lions say confirmed their original diagnosis and endorsed their rehabilitation plan. The Lions did not provide details, but Mortensen reported Stafford suffered a Grade 3 separation of his shoulder Nov. 7 against the New York Jets. Stafford will spend the next two weeks in rehabilitation, Mortensen reported, and then will determine whether he can return to the field at that point. A cortisone shot could be administered during the process.
Season-ending surgery remains an option if the rehabilitation plan doesn't provide the necessary progress. At best, Stafford could play perhaps the final month of the season.
I know how important it is for Stafford to get back on the field, but the idea of rushing back on a twice-separated shoulder sounds scary to me. The Lions have their entire future, not to mention more than $40 million, invested in him. You can only assume they'll take every precaution necessary.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Lions need to get mad, says center Dominic Raiola. Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press has more.
Chris McCosky of the Detroit News wonders if the Lions should have abandoned the run earlier Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
The Chicago Bears might not have a bunch of elite players, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune, but their overall depth is a credit to general manager Jerry Angelo.
The Bears stopped Minnesota Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson with old-fashioned good tackling, writes the Tribune's Dan Pompei.
The Bears can expect large doses of the Miami Dolphins' Wildcat offense Thursday night, writes Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
Peterson missed a Vikings team meeting Monday after getting ticketed for driving 53 miles per hour in a 35-mile-per-hour zone near the team's practice facility. Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune has more. The Vikings have on two other occasions benched Peterson from the opening portion of a game for missing or being late to team functions.
Vikings quarterback Brett Favre told ESPN's Ed Werder that his sore right shoulder is "no big deal -- right now," and that he won't need an MRI.
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com breaks down the tape of the Vikings' 27-13 loss to the Bears.
It appears that Vikings owner Zygi Wilf is being patient with coach Brad Childress, writes Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The release of cornerback Al Harris and the season-ending shoulder injury of right tackle Mark Tauscher have left the Green Bay Packers with four players on their roster with 10 or more years of NFL experience, according to Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. They also have only six players older than 30.
Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com calculates the exact number of days since Packers rookie tailback James Starks has played in a game.
Gary D'Amato of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at the Packers' scoring defense.