Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Although we haven't gotten official word on the status of Minnesota Vikings linebacker/special teams ace Heath Farwell, there wasn't a lot of optimism about the state of his right knee Friday night after the Vikings' 34-17 preseason loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
If Farwell did suffer a season-ending injury, it would mark the third consecutive year in which a Vikings linebacker was lost for the year because of a knee injury in the team's preseason opener at the Metrodome.
In 2006, first-round draft choice Chad Greenway tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while covering a punt. He was lost for the season but returned as a starter in 2007.
In 2007, sixth-round draft choice Rufus Alexander tore the ACL in his right knee. Alexander has returned to compete for a job this summer.
The latest example is Farwell, who suffered his injury while playing linebacker in the first quarter Friday night.
There is no obvious explanation for what might be a three-time coincidence. But we can say it's one of many reasons the Vikings are seeking a new stadium to replace the Metrodome. During the summer, the building's FieldTurf takes a heavy pounding from both the Minnesota Twins and Vikings preseason games. In September, three teams use the building -- the Vikings, Twins and the University of Minnesota football team.
The Gophers will move into an on-campus stadium in 2009, while the Twins' new ballpark will be completed in 2010.
Onto the rest of the NFC North on this preseason weekend:
So far, the Detroit Lions haven't demonstrated they have the right personnel to run the ball as much as they want to, writes Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press. In their preseason opener Thursday night, running backs Tatum Bell and Kevin Smith combined for 30 yards on 15 carries.
The Chicago Bears should consider moving right tackle John Tait back to the left side after losing rookie Chris Williams to back surgery, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times. David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune agrees.
The Green Bay Packers are hoping that rookie J.J. Jansen proves worthy of the long-snapping job. The team recently waved competitor Thomas Gafford.
Rookie Packers cornerback Pat Lee is making an impression.