We're Black and Blue All Over:
The Detroit Lions are hoping that rookie defensive tackle Nick Fairley has turned the corner in his recovery from a foot injury that forced him to miss five of this season's first eight games and left him with little first-half impact in 2011.
After resting during a well-timed bye week, Fairley said, via Philip Zaroo of Mlive.com: "I'm feeling real good. The break did a lot for me, especially just being able to sit back and rest up -- get off my feet, let it heal on its own without nothing moving, without doing a lot of walking around or whatever. ... I'm all good to go, ready to go now. Second half, here we go, here we come."
Given their depth at defensive line, the Lions have always been in good position to absorb Fairley's injury and allow for a slow and effective return. They started the season 6-2 without getting much of a contribution from him, but they could be in position to get a second-half boost from their first-round draft pick.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Lions guard Stephen Peterman doesn't feel threatened by the arrival of veteran offensive lineman Leonard Davis, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
New Lions safety Chris Harris on facing his former team this weekend, via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News: "It's more of an anxiousness than anything else. I don't have any bitterness toward Chicago. This is a business, and the quicker you learn that, the better of you'll be."
The Chicago Bears' offensive line is coming along well, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
Melissa Isaacson of ESPNChicago.com on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler: "It's tough not to draw the connection. A happier, looser Jay Cutler is a better Jay Cutler. Or maybe it's that a better Jay Cutler is happier and looser."
Cutler has been "outstanding," ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski told Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette on the Green Bay Packers: "Confidence oozes all around the locker room, and team members are seemingly oblivious to the increasing scrutiny that can sometimes stifle a reigning Super Bowl champion. Players remain focused but at the same time are loose and relaxed."
Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel speaks to Packers players about random drug tests.
If the Minnesota Vikings want to build their new stadium in suburban Arden Hills, they might need to increase their proposed contribution, Gov. Mark Dayton told the Star Tribune.
The Vikings want to do their best to keep Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers off the field Monday night, writes Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.