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NFC North Roundup: Storylines after week one of the 2017 preseason

As the Green Bay Packers head into their second game of the preseason Saturday, here are a few burning topics from around the division.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

As the Green Bay Packers prepares for its second preseason contest with Washington on Saturday evening, training camp battles are heating up and questions are beginning to be answered.

While the Packers have a fairly good idea of who their starters, especially at the skill positions, will be this season, the rest of the NFC North has some position groups in flux and some rookies poised to make an early impact.

A few of those links, notes and more are in today’s roundup.

Minnesota Vikings

Special Teams is a work in progress.

The Vikings are heading into the second week of preseason with questions at both punter and kicker. Kai Forbath, who took over place kicking duties after Blair Walsh’s release last season, seemingly has the early lead. Journeyman Ryan Quigley currently is the top man in the punting race according to Head Coach Mike Zimmer.

Running back Latavius Murray’s injury still looms large.

Offseason ankle surgery has kept Minnesota’s key free agent signing out of full practice periods. Murray’s injury has opened the door for rookie second round pick Dalvin Cook, who General Manager Rick Spielman labeled a three-down back earlier this week. Cook was impressive as a pass catcher in his first preseason action with the first team, while holdover Jerick McKinnon also continues to be a receiving threat.

Optimism abounds for a Teddy Bridgewater return.

The former first round pick will start the season on the PUP, but has made significant progress in an attempt to return from a major knee injury. Expect Sam Bradford in week one.

Detroit Lions

Greg Robinson seems likely to be Taylor Decker’s short-term replacement.

The former Ram acquired for a sixth round pick this offseason had a shaky start to camp, but is progressing enough day by day to fill in while Decker is out with a shoulder injury. The rumor is that it could be as long December.

A third round wide receiver is turning heads early in preseason.

There has been incredible hype surrounding third round pick Kenny Golladay of Northern Illinois, who caught two touchdowns last week and has been described as “occasionally unstoppable” in the red zone.

The defensive end opposite Ziggy Ansah is still up for grabs.

Free agent signee Cornelius Washington has as good a chance as any player on the roster to earn the starting nod despite being injured on the first day of practice. He is currently battling a seventh round pick and two undrafted free agents after Kerry Hyder was lost for the season with a torn achilles in the preseason opener.

Chicago Bears

John Fox compares the Mitch Trubisky hype train to that of Tim Tebow.

The Bears’ rookie singal caller had a fairly stellar debut, going 18-25 for 166 yards while new signing Mike Glennon threw a pick-six on his opening possession. But Coach Fox is trying to lower expectations, comparing Trubisky’s situation to Tebow’s in Denver.

Chicago may have found a lightning third down back in the fourth round.

The Packers brought Tarik Cohen in for a pre-draft workout, but ultimately it was the Bears who drafted the speedy running back. A standout in training camp who worked with the first team in preseason action, Cohen is already spelling doom to Jeremy Langford’s tenure in Chicago, just one season after Langford was expected to be the starter.

Another rookie fourth rounder is making an early impact in the secondary.

Along with Cohen, fellow fourth round safety Eddie Jackson has been a pleasant surprise in training camp. A player whose draft stock dipped after suffering a broken leg while a senior at Alabama, Jackson has been mentioned in more than one article to be destined for a starting safety role ahead of Adrian Amos.