We're Black and Blue All Over:
You're on the right track if the name "Tyler Thigpen" rings a bell. The quarterback expected to start Thursday night against the Chicago Bears was a seventh-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2007. (It always goes back to the Vikings, doesn't it?)
The Vikings liked Thigpen and wanted to develop him as a long-term project. But they weren't willing to create a roster spot to do it, and instead tried to slip him through waivers and place him on the practice squad. (The backup quarterbacks they kept instead, Brooks Bollinger and Kelly Holcomb, are long gone.) The Kansas City Chiefs claimed Thigpen largely because he impressed them during a joint training camp practice, and he had an impressive stretch of 11 starts during the 2008 season. The Chiefs traded him to the Miami Dolphins in 2009.
Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald chronicles Thigpen's journey. Bears fans might be rejoicing in facing the Dolphins' No. 3 quarterback, but rest assured he has more experience and skill than the players that fill that job for many teams.
Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel asks whether the Green Bay Packers will get any help from their new running back depth.
Once and current Packers tight end/linebacker Spencer Havner didn't burn any bridges after being waived this summer, notes Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
The Detroit Lions' run blocking has been suspect this season, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
On Sunday, the Lions will face ex-teammates Jon Kitna and Roy Williams, who now play for the Dallas Cowboys. Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press has more.
The Lions have the worst record in NFL history for any team that has outscored its opponents at this point in the season, Michael David Smith writes in the Wall Street Journal.
The short week left the Bears practicing on Tuesday. All players participated on at least a limited basis and should be available for Thursday night's game against Miami, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is using his mobility to his advantage lately, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
The Bears' offense is improving, according to Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Star Tribune considers the possibility that Minnesota Vikings receiver Sidney Rice will opt out of playing at all this season because of a hip injury and concerns about how his value could be impacted on the free-agent market.
Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes that Vikings owner Zygi Wilf needs to hire a "football czar" to straighten out his team.
The Pioneer Press: "Vikings defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams today will ask the Minnesota Court of Appeals to permanently block the NFL from suspending them four games because the league violated state drug-testing laws when it tried to punish them in 2008."