We're Black and Blue All Over:
After giving up 221 passing yards to one of the NFL's weakest passing offenses, the Detroit Lions are shuffling their secondary this week. Monday evening, they released veteran cornerback Alphonso Smith and claimed cornerback Pat Lee off waivers from the Oakland Raiders.
They are also expected to welcome back veteran cornerback Drayton Florence from short-term injured reserve, which would prompt another roster move.
NFC North fans will remember that Lee played in 51 games for the Green Bay Packers from 2008-11, mostly on special teams. He started seven games for the Raiders this season but was released in a mild surprise this week.
Lee was ejected from the Packers' Thanksgiving Day game against the Lions last season. He will at least provide depth as the Lions monitor the sprained ankle of starter Chris Houston.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press wonders if Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith intentionally hit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson in the head Sunday.
Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News: "If the Lions aren't frauds, now would be the time to show it. It starts Sunday at home against the Packers or it doesn't start at all. Until we see otherwise, the Lions are the least-productive productive team in football, piling up fancy numbers to dress up a 4-5 record."
Packers guard Josh Sitton on playing against Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh a year after his infamous stomp, via Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "That's something that's in the past. We can't really think about anything that's gone on in the past. … He just better not stomp me."
Packers receiver Greg Jennings (abdomen) is feeling better and hoping to return for the stretch run, writes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "Even though the Green Bay Packers know for sure right tackle Bryan Bulaga isn’t coming back this season, they remain confident their offense can function at a high level based on the way the line finished their last game against the Arizona Cardinals before the bye."
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com breaks down the tape of the Vikings' victory over the Lions.
Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder seemed more comfortable with quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson on the sideline rather than in the coaches' booth, writes Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Ken Chia of the Star Tribune notes how rare it was for Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson to run in a two-point conversion. It was the first of Peterson's career and the Vikings' first rushing conversion since 2007.
Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com can't understand why the Chicago Bears aren't using Earl Bennett more in their offense.
The Bears' offensive line won its battle with the Houston Texans' defensive line, notes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times thinks criticism of the Bears for their handling of quarterback Jay Cutler's concussion is unfounded.