We're Black and Blue All Over:
The NFC North's preseason begins Thursday night, and as usual the biggest news with these otherwise anticlimactic events is who won't be playing in them. The Green Bay Packers, for instance, will play at the San Diego Chargers without a handful of injured starters -- including receiver Greg Jennings and left tackle Marshall Newhouse -- and defensive back Charles Woodson told reporters he isn't likely to play, either.
"You know, that's kind of how it's been the past … years," Woodson said, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "I guess it's pretty much expected."
Another question is whether quarterback Aaron Rodgers will play, given Newhouse's absence and the precarious depth behind him. Meanwhile, it's assumed that Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will start against the Denver Broncos on Thursday night, one day after the birth of his son.
Yes, I have always felt (and written) that the preseason is silly from a spectator perspective. But I realize others feel differently, and it is live football after all, so we will cover it (mostly) respectfully once again this summer.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Packers made a late-night move to shore up their offensive line depth, signing veteran guard/tackle Reggie Wells, notes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Rookie Packers safety Jerron McMillian hasn't looked out of place in training camp, writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Minnesota Vikings practice got heated Wednesday between receiver Percy Harvin and rookie safety Harrison Smith, according to 1500ESPN.com.
Wednesday wasn't a great day for the Vikings' offense, according to the Star Tribune.
Seven players are sidelined for the Vikings' preseason game Friday at the San Francisco 49ers, notes Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Bears cornerback Charles Tillman thinks that rookie receiver Alshon Jeffery is a "Brandon Marshall in the making." Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times has more.
Bears tailback Matt Forte has looked stronger and faster in training camp, writes Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.
The Bears have signed former defensive end Alex Brown to a one-day contract so that he can retire Thursday as a Bear.
Detroit Lions players and coaches aren't minimizing the impact of losing safety Louis Delmas, writes Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.
The Lions are pulling rookie defensive end Ronnell Lewis in a lot of directions, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Chris McCosky of the Detroit News wonders if the Lions are taking it slow with tailback Mikel Leshoure's hamstring injury because they know he is suspended for the first two games of the season.