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NFC North Roundup: Vikings’ defense gets stronger heading into final week of preseason

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Minnesota appears to have further bolstered its defense with the addition of George Iloka while the rest of the division prepares for final roster decisions.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

After a less-than-thrilling 13-6 loss to the Oakland Raiders in preseason game number three, the Green Bay Packers (2-1) will head into a final week exhibition clash with the Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday.

A reserve-led contest in Oakland ultimately was remembered more after the game for what happened before it started when promising rookie Oren Burks suffered a shoulder injury in warm-ups. The Packers traded cornerback Lenzy Pipkins to the Indianapolis Colts for inside linebacker Antonio Morrison on Sunday in an attempt to alleviate a pressing concern with only one game left to go in the preseason schedule. Meanwhile, news broke Sunday that Burks’ injury may not be as significant as once thought.

Elsewhere around the division, the Minnesota Vikings also brought in a defensive reinforcement, signing veteran safety George Iloka to a one-year deal after six seasons in Cincinnati. Iloka helps fortify a safety position that already boasts Pro Bowler Harrison Smith. This week, the Vikings’ starting defense continued to trend up as Detroit’s took a step back against Tampa Bay and Chicago’s got some well-needed rest.

On the other side of the ball, the NFC North’s offenses will look to iron out some wrinkles and stay injury free with final cuts looming. More on those items in today’s roundup.


Detroit Lions (1-2)

Won 33-30 at Tampa Bay; Next vs. Cleveland

Detroit Lions: These rookie could give team big lift in 2018 season

Each of the Lions’ draft picks is discussed in terms of their potential to contribute this season, with special attention given to their fourth-round selection.

The Detroit Lions tight end group might be one larger than expected

Detroit is still trying to fill the hole at tight end created by Eric Ebron’s departure. With inconsistencies and injuries in mind, the Lions could be looking at a four-man position group.

Quick observations from the Lions’ lackluster win against Bucs

Matthew Stafford shined, but the red zone offense remained a significant concern. Meanwhile, the Lions’ defensive starters had an abysmal performance against Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bucs.


Chicago Bears (2-2)

Won 27-20 vs. Kansas City; Next vs. Buffalo

Bears backups make key statement in win over Chiefs

Backup quarterback Chase Daniel continued his preseason rebound, while Kevin White caught his first touchdown at the NFL level. Defensively, the Bears held the Chiefs’ offense to just one third-down conversion in the first half.

Brad Biggs’ 10 thoughts on the Bears’ 27-20 victory over the Chiefs

An in-depth look at the Bears addresses Khalil Mack rumors, a blossoming seventh-round pick at wide receiver, and concerns about injured free agent pickup Aaron Lynch.

Bears coach Matt Nagy says Mitchell Trubisky, starters ready despite sitting in preseason game

Chicago had a large inactive list against Kansas City, but new Head Coach Matt Nagy insisted on resting his starters, saying that Trubisky specifically has had enough snaps to be ready for week one.


Minnesota Vikings (2-1)

Won 21-20 vs. Seattle; Next at Tennessee

Football Outsiders on who the Vikings’ Defensive MVP is

On a loaded defense, Scott Kacsmar gave his thoughts on the one player Minnesota cannot afford to lose.

5 Things to Know About New Vikings Safety George Iloka

Speaking of a talented defense, the Vikings added another big-name piece to the unit with the signing of the veteran Iloka. Here are five things to know about Iloka and his fit.

Stock Market Report: Seahawks

A backup quarterback is emerging, but maybe not the one that was anticipated. Plus, a bubble receiver, the son of a former Packer, had a promising game for the Vikings in his quest for a final roster spot.