We're Black and Blue All Over
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- We spent the latter part of offseason discussing what order the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions would finish in the 2012 NFC North. The Minnesota Vikings? The prognosticating class considered it all but a given that they will finish last and miss the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
The Vikings reported to training camp Thursday at Minnesota State University, Mankato, with no such assumptions in mind. Here's what coach Leslie Frazier told reporters:
"In the NFL today, I don't know that you want to count yourself out of any situation. This is a very fluid league in the way things are. I mean the teams that are sometimes favorites don't always end up being the favorite at the end of the year. Or the teams that are counted out are sometimes the teams that flip the script a little bit or end up in places that most people didn't expect at the beginning of the season. That's not to say that's going to be us. Our goal is to come down here to Mankato and try to continue to improve across the board. If we make the necessary improvements and come together as a team, we feel our chances are as good as anybody's."
There really is no other way to think at this time of year. If you can't be optimistic on the first day of training camp, when can you be?
Continuing around the NFC North:
Tailback Adrian Peterson told reporters he would fight a detour to the PUP list because of his knee injury, writes Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, but it's difficult to see him winning that battle.
Vikings receiver Percy Harvin showed up for training camp Thursday, notes Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com. He did not speak to reporters. Remember, he implied he could hold out during minicamp.
Green Bay Packers running back Alex Green passed his physical and participated fully in practice Thursday, a little more than nine months after having a torn ACL repaired. Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette has more.
Rookie linebacker Nick Perry's eye-popping athletic skills naturally raise expectations for him, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop is on the non-football injury list because of a calf strain, notes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com, and second-year linebacker D.J. Smith is filling in for him in practice.
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is facing a civil lawsuit stemming from his automobile accident last year in Portland, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz hopes players can shift their thinking when training camp begins, notes Birkett for the Free Press. Schwartz: "I think, for just about all of our team, when we hit the field, [offseason problems are] not going to be on anybody's mind. Hopefully it was on everybody's mind for the last six weeks or five weeks, whatever it's been. And it'll be on everybody's mind when they go out at night and when they make decisions in their personal life. But when they're in the building here, they're going to be thinking about football. They're going to be thinking about improving. They're going to be thinking about all the things that go into training camp."
The Lions' margins are narrow, writes Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News.
Schwartz is confident the Lions have a number of candidates to replace the released Aaron Berry, notes Justin Rogers of Mlive.com.
Chicago Bears right tackle Gabe Carimi appears healthy and ready for his second season, writes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
Cool story: Bears cornerback D.J. Moore is borrowing a television from a fan during training camp. Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com has more.
Bears receiver Brandon Marshall wants to reduce his number of dropped passes, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
Brad Biggs of the Tribune looks at the Bears' left tackle competition.
Meant to note this Thursday: As Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times writes, the Bears' first play in team drills was notable because it was an organized rollout for quarterback Jay Cutler, who likes getting out of the pocket.