We're Black and Blue All Over:
If no deal is reached by Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET, Jackson will have to serve two additional games of an NFL suspension for a total of six this season.
At this point, it's tough to handicap the situation because either side could flinch in the hours leading up to the deadline. ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted Wednesday morning that the Vikings haven't been willing to meet the Chargers' compensation demands. Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reports the situation looks bleak.
I'm totally convinced the Vikings have interest, but whether they're willing to give up more than a 2011 second-round draft pick is uncertain. Obviously, there is some level of brinksmanship going on here.
There are multiple reports that the Vikings have signed free-agent receiver Hank Baskett, originating with NFL.com and confirmed by the Star Tribune and 1500ESPN.com, among others. Baskett's arrival doesn't reflect a capitulation on the Jackson possibility as much as it suggests the Vikings simply needed an extra body this week. Receiver Percy Harvin has been hobbled by a strained hip, leaving the team with three healthy receivers.
Baskett originally signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2006 and was traded to the Eagles for veteran receiver Billy McMullen before training camp. He's well-versed in the offensive system the Vikings use, which is similar to the Eagles, but it would be hard to project him as a consolation for Jackson or as a stand-in for the injured Sidney Rice. What he could do is contribute immediately this week.
Stay tuned all day Wednesday for updates. For now, let's take our morning spin around the division:
Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette believes there is a "decent chance" that rookie Bryan Bulaga will take over the Green Bay Packers' left tackle position this week. Starter Chad Clifton is coping with a knee injury.
Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel profiles oft-criticized defensive back Jarrett Bush.
The Packers don't plan to make Brandon Jackson their primary ball carrier, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com, and instead will divide their carries in a committee approach.
The Detroit Lions' final four plays in Sunday's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles were a "nightmare," writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press: "The Lions made a serious offseason investment in bolstering the defensive line and through two games that investment appears to be paying off."
Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News points out the two-game statistics of rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh: nine tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss and three quarterback hits.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune wonders if the Chicago Bears will replace punt returner Devin Hester.
Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times agrees: "It has been said that moving Devin Hester to receiver was one of Lovie Smith's biggest blunders. Not only will Hester never be a No. 1 receiver, many have long claimed, but the NFL's greatest returner has been robbed of the dizzying ability he displayed while scoring 11 touchdowns his first two seasons. After watching Hester make that one-handed grab in the corner of the end zone against the Cowboys, after seeing his 38-yard gain set up the Bears' final touchdown and after witnessing another head-scratching return, Smith should consider relieving him of his punt-return duties so he can focus on receiving."
The Bears should have been ranked higher in this week's ESPN.com Power Rankings, writes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.