Black and Blue all over: Lions favored

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert

The headline in Tuesday’s Detroit Free Press says it all: “Lions don’t want to overlook Rams.”

It’s true: The Lions will emerge from their bye to face an opponent even more undermanned and injury-ravaged than they are. St. Louis is 0-7 and is coming off a 42-6 blowout at home last weekend to Indianapolis.

I’ve seen the Rams twice this year and can tell you they have some competitive elements on their team. But I agree: Sunday’s game at Ford Field is an excellent opportunity for the Lions to pick up their second victory of the season.

The Las Vegas crowd seems to agree. Last time I checked, the Lions were 4-point favorites.

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • The Lions will return to practice Tuesday and give us a better idea if quarterback Matthew Stafford (knee) will be ready to play, writes John Niyo of the Detroit News. Here’s what Stafford said Monday night on WJR radio about his status: “I don't know. I think I'll have a better thought about that maybe tomorrow.”

  • Chicago coach Lovie Smith said he made the decision to rest defensive tackle Tommie Harris on Sunday at Cincinnati, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times.

  • Save your breath, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune. The Bears won’t be firing Smith this season. He has two years and about $11 million remaining on his contract.

  • Garry D. Howard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel encourages fans who plan to attend Sunday’s game at Lambeau Field to applaud quarterback Brett Favre and “[e]mpower yourselves by showing off your obvious class with this rousing ovation.”

  • The Packers have lost receiver Brett Swain (knee) for the season. One possible replacement is practice squad receiver Jake Allen, writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

  • The Packers’ confidence is high, writes Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee.

  • More is at stake Sunday than just Favre’s return, writes Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. We’ll have more on this topic later Tuesday.

  • The Star Tribune provides updates on cornerback Antoine Winfield (foot) and receiver Bernard Berrian (leg). Both could miss Sunday’s game.