We're Black and Blue All Over:
Earlier this week, we suggested the Minnesota Vikings have won enough games this season to make coach Leslie Frazier's return in 2013 a given. And because next season is the last year of the original contract he signed as the team's coach, it made sense that some sort of a contract extension would be on the way.
Teams typically don't let coaches enter a season in a lame-duck contract situation, at least ones they believe in. So Sid Hartman's blog item (yes!) for the Star Tribune makes perfect sense: Owner Zygi Wilf authorized an extension earlier this week and the deal could be announced any day.
Frazier is 14-22 since taking over during the 2010 season. But this season he has managed to imprint his vision on a team that is in the playoff race in mid-December. The Vikings have more work to do, but they are trending in the right direction under Frazier.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Frazier and Vikings receiver Percy Harvin had a previously unreported heated exchange prior to Harvin going on injured reserve, according to Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
The Vikings are looking at using cornerback Chris Cook in nickel packages Sunday at the Houston Texans, according to Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The Green Bay Packers aren't looking to hire any consultants or specialists to help place-kicker Mason Crosby, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
It doesn't sound as if Packers defensive back Charles Woodson will play Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, according to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. Woodson is hoping to get some regular-season action before the playoffs begin after breaking his collarbone.
Packers linebacker Clay Matthews was thankful last Sunday for the pass rush of teammate Mike Neal, writes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Opponents are absolving Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice of blame for the performance of the offense this season, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
Bears defensive lineman Henry Melton believes he is as good as any defensive tackle in the NFL and plans to play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
Bears linebacker Lance Briggs via Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com: "In my worst nightmare, this is where I imagined we'd be; in my very, very worst nightmare."
Detroit Lions safety Louis Delmas (knee) is hoping to play back-to-back games for the first time since October, notes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Lions receivers coach Shawn Jefferson on receiver Calvin Johnson, via John Niyo of the Detroit News: "[T]he mental aspect caught up with the physical aspect of his game. And when they hit each other, it was just this big explosion. It's like the perfect storm has happened inside him."
Tight end Brandon Pettigrew (ankle) again didn't practice Thursday, raising the possibility he will miss Saturday night's game against the Atlanta Falcons. Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com has more.