We're Black and Blue All Over:
The Minnesota Vikings' decision to hold tailback Adrian Peterson out of the preseason, as reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, would make perfect sense whether or not Peterson was recovering from significant knee surgery.
For reasons we'll probably need an entire offseason to explore and explain, the preseason is a time of varying game speed for individual players that seems to be conducive to injuries and other catastrophes. It's a time for unproven players to demonstrate their skills or get game-like practice time to speed their development. It's less of a place, in the opinion of many, for a superstar to test out the mobility of a surgically-repaired knee.
For many, whatever advantage exists for a veteran player to get preseason reps is outweighed by the injury risk.
Peterson's first game action will come in the regular season, probably in Week 1. It might take a few weeks to get him up to speed, but at least those efforts can be applied in a game that counts.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune on Vikings tailback Toby Gerhart: "Weight gain or not, Gerhart sported a different appearance when he arrived for Vikings training camp. He transformed his body this offseason while maintaining his target weight, hoping the ripped muscle look would enable him to withstand more punishment as a featured running back in case Adrian Peterson's recovery from knee surgery hit a snag or unexpected delay."
Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph was practicing Monday after experiencing concussion symptoms Friday night, but cornerback Chris Cook was not. Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com has more.
Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press explains why the Vikings are having quarterback Christian Ponder slide headfirst on some occasions.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers continues to defend backup Graham Harrell. Rodgers said Monday that Harrell would play better if the second- and third-teamers around him did the same. Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com explains.
Although Packers receiver Jordy Nelson is having a strong training camp, he said Monday that if he were a betting man, he would "wager a lot of money that I won’t have 15 touchdowns again." Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette has more.
The Packers are moving closer to being a one-back offense, helping to explain the acquisition of Cedric Benson, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The timetable is getting tight for Detroit Lions safety Louis Delmas (knee) to be ready for the start of the regular season, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
The secondary has gotten a lift from veteran John Wendling, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Lions running back Mikel Leshoure has participated for the first time in back-to-back practices, notes Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.
J'Marcus Webb will once again start for the Chicago Bears at left tackle in Friday's preseason game against the New York Giants, notes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com. The Bears are hoping to solidify their starting line after evaluating it against the Giants' tough defensive front.
Right tackle Gabe Carimi, not Webb, is the key to protecting quarterback Jay Cutler this season, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.
Bears tailback Michael Bush is quicker than the Bears realized, notes Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.