We're Black and Blue All Over:
Greetings from NFC North blog headquarters, where I returned late Thursday night to learn that two of our teams were struggling through their preseason debuts. You'll find some thoughts on the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears in the preceding posts, or you can click here for the Packers and here for the Bears if your scrolling function is disabled.
We will be keeping an eye Friday for news on Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop (knee) and cornerback Davon House (shoulder), both of whom left Thursday night's game against the San Diego Chargers. We'll also let you know if there are any developments on Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, who hasn't practiced in a week because of soreness in his knee and more recently has been away from the team for personal reasons.
The show always goes on, however. As you know, the rest of the NFC North opens the preseason Friday night. We previewed those games Thursday, if you want to take a look back.
For now, let's move through an abbreviated look around the division. I think we pretty much covered it for the Packers and Bears in the previous posts.
It doesn't appear that the Detroit Lions will play defensive end Cliff Avril, who reported to camp last weekend, in their preseason opener against the Browns. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press has more.
Lions rookies are eager to play, notes Rod Beard of the Detroit News.
Friday night will be a good time to gauge the Lions' depth at safety, writes Justin Rogers of Mlive.com.
Despite the Minnesota Vikings' patience, the pressure is now on quarterback Christian Ponder. Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com explains.
One of the Vikings' most pressing questions is how their revamped middle defense looks, notes Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
Former Bears special teams ace Zack Bowman is still trying to crack the Vikings' cornerback rotation, according to Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune.
Friday night will also be the debut of the Vikings' revamped offensive line, featuring new starters at left tackle (Matt Kalil), left guard (Charlie Johnson) and right guard (Brandon Fusco). Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press hits that topic and four others in his game preview.