Monday Quick Hits: NFC North

Let's catch up on several pressing injury concerns in the NFC North, starting with the Green Bay Packers' backfield:

Item: Packers tailback Cedric Benson won't play Sunday night against the Houston Texans because of a foot injury, coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Monday, and it's not clear what his future holds beyond that. Alex Green, James Starks and Brandon Saine will all be in the mix for playing time this week.

Comment: It won't matter who plays running back for the Packers if they aren't willing to run the ball. McCarthy told reporters that he turned away from the running game Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts because he thought the Packers had opportunities to strike in the passing game. We saw the downside, however, when the Colts' pass rush perked up at about the same time.

Item: Nose tackle B.J. Raji (ankle) and tight end Jermichael Finley (shoulder) have a chance to play against the Texans, according to McCarthy.

Comment: We'll see if either player practices Wednesday. Raji reportedly had a significant limp as he departed the locker room Sunday. Finley said he thinks he will play.

Item: The Minnesota Vikings are having receiver Jerome Simpson checked out for a possible back injury after an odd bout of leg weakness Sunday.

Comment: Simpson seemed to have some spring in his legs during pregame introductions based on this photograph.

Item: Chicago Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery had his hand in a cast Monday, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.

Comment: The Bears' bye week comes at a good time for Jeffery. Wright reports that he could miss "a few" weeks. The Bears have practices scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday before they disperse for the bye. The injury is a fracture, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.