Coming off a victory over Washington last weekend, the Green Bay Packers are preparing to travel to Denver for a date with the Broncos in week three of the preseason. As Green Bay’s starters, particularly Aaron Rodgers, get ready for additional snaps this week, the rest of the NFC North is assessing its own starting position battles.
More insight into those starting units is up for grabs in this week’s divisional roundup.
A trio of players are fighting for the starting weakside linebacker job.
After Chad Greenway’s retirement in March, the Vikings have turned to two veterans and a rookie fourth rounder in hopes of replacing the 11-year icon linebacker.
The search for quarterback depth behind Sam Bradford is a focus in training camp.
Behind Sam Bradford and top backup Case Keenum, Minnesota is trying to figure out what it has in its two younger quarterback prospects as Teddy Bridgewater faces a probable placement on the PUP list. Much like the Joe Callahan-Taysom Hill situation in Green Bay, the Vikings are looking for a diamond in the rough to develop.
The secondary still appears to be porous.
Somewhere, Aaron Rodgers has to be grinning as Minnesota struggled with short throws against Buffalo in week one and giving up the long play in week two versus Seattle. The secondary has been a focus of head coach Mike Zimmer in practice after allowing five throws of 20 yards or more last week.
A noteworthy backup quarterback is beginning to emerge.
No quarterback controversy is brewing, but the confidence and development of a second-year pro is gaining the attention of the Detroit media.
Detroit is counting on Ameer Abdullah to help open up the playaction pass.
The third-year running back quietly opened up big pass plays against the New York Jets in week two and the Lions are hoping his impact spreads to the regular season.
T.J. Lang sees the field against the Jets.
After offseason hip surgery, the former Packers guard saw his first preseason action, a surprise appearance to many in the Lions’ fan base.
The offensive line is beginning to mesh.
An improved Chicago offensive line showed up against the Arizona Cardinals, as the first team didn’t allow a sack in the first half and created plenty of space to run for rookie running back Tarik Cohen.
Kendall Wright draws similarities between Mitch Trubisky and Marcus Mariota.
The new Bears wideout finds Trubisky’s work ethic to be similar to Mariota’s and believes the rookie QB will progress like Mariota once he receives increased live action.
Three free agent receivers still haven’t provided answers for the receiving corps.
Between Wright, Markus Wheaton, and Victor Cruz, Chicago hasn’t seen a significant impact from its free agent signings, nor has it seen the true potential of its former first round pick Kevin White.