Black and Blue all over: Adams' legacy

Sunday’s game action limited our opportunity to address the death of Chicago defensive end Gaines Adams, who was rushed to a hospital Sunday morning near his South Carolina home after going into cardiac arrest. According to the latest information, a coroner determined Adams had an enlarged heart.

Most Bears players and coaches had limited interaction with Adams, who arrived via trade in the fall. Linebacker Brian Urlacher told the Chicago Tribune: “I didn’t know him that well because he came in during the middle of the season. But I did know him. I still saw him every day when I went into work. It’s just weird. I had a teammate die when I was in college. You just don’t know how to handle it. It’s just sad, man. It’s a bad deal.”

Wrote Melissa Isaacson of ESPN Chicago: “Sadly, when anyone dies so young and so suddenly, there are going to be questions asked and answers demanded. Sad as well are the many things we never got to know about Adams simply because his play had not yet warranted a closer look.”

Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times on Adams’ transition to the Bears:

“It's difficult to join a team in the midst of a season as Adams did when the Bears traded a second-round pick in the April draft to Tampa Bay for his services. Professional football is a fierce, merciless business with intense competition for playing time. The new guy can be resented; the new guy can have a hard time making friends. But Adams managed to fit in, and there was a growing belief all he needed was playing time to prove his value on the field. Now we'll never know what might have been.”

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • Minnesota owner Zygi Wilf told Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune that “this is where we want to be” after his team’s 34-3 victory Sunday over Dallas.

  • Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: “There did appear to be an epidemic of Cowboys Fever sweeping the country. Dallas was red hot coming into the game. But as several of the Vikings had pointed out during the week, the Cowboys weren't going to get to play Sunday's game in their new state-of-the-art stadium. They had to come up to Minnesota and play in the 'hood.”

  • Green Bay’s rush defense gets and “A” and special teams gets a “D-“ in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s annual grades.

  • You can access the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s season review and grades through this link.

  • Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford had a long conversation with Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press. Among the highlights: Stafford said he was tired of being “dinged-up” at the end of the season.

  • John Niyo of the Detroit News writes: “[I]n a draft that's top-heavy with talented defensive linemen, you're going to have a hard time convincing me that Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy isn’t the best choice at the top of the Lions’ draft board.”