We're Black and Blue All Over:
Week 5 brought a number of significant injuries to the NFC North. As we noted late Monday night, the Green Bay Packers have lost tailback Cedric Benson for at least eight weeks and perhaps the season because of a Lisfranc foot injury. The Minnesota Vikings believe receiver Jerome Simpson has a back injury that is causing leg numbness, and I also want to point out another ailment that might have been lost in the shuffle Monday.
Chicago Bears rookie receiver Alshon Jeffery has a fractured right hand, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com, and will miss a couple of games even though the Bears have their bye this week. The injury occurred in Sunday's 41-3 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jeffery is the Bears' second-leading receiver behind Brandon Marshall. He's caught 14 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns amid limited playing time for Devin Hester and a hand injury that has cost veteran Earl Bennett two games.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Bears' Marshall helped open up big plays for other players Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
The Bears' defense has a scoring mentality, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on the performance of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers: "The Packers might need extraordinary, not ordinary, play from their leader."
Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette takes a closer look at the Packers' sputtering offense.
The Packers are trying to remain calm, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com breaks down the tape of the Vikings' victory over the Tennessee Titans.
Vikings linebacker Jasper Brinkley has dispelled the notion that he's a liability in pass coverage, writes Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.
Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Percy Harvin ignites, Christian Ponder commands and Adrian Peterson powers the offensive assembly line that has produced enough points for four attention-grabbing victories. But fueling the Vikings' revival has been their defense."
Former Detroit Lions star Alex Karras has been in kidney failure for two weeks and only has a few days to live, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Chris McCosky of the Detroit News doesn't think the Lions are frauds. McCosky: "You have to trust the body of work here."
The Lions need tailback Jahvid Best back in the lineup, writes Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.