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NFC North Rundown: Vikings lose Dalvin Cook and pivotal game in the Bay Area

As Minnesota tries to creep back into the postseason hunt, it will do so without its star running back for at least a few weeks.

Minnesota Vikings v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

With multiple injuries impacting the Green Bay Packers’ roster, the bye week could not come at a more important time. Even more paramount is that the Packers enter their week off on a high note.

After holding on to defeat the Los Angeles Rams 36-28 on Fox’s Game of the Week, Green Bay moved to 9-3 and in full control of their destiny in the NFC North. The Packers gained an extra one-game lead over their next closest competitor as well, with Minnesota losing on the West Coast. The Vikings, falling below a .500 record, will have to scrape back into the NFC playoff picture without one of its key offensive players.

Minnesota’s efforts will begin this week as they face a still-winless Detroit Lions squad fresh off a Thanksgiving loss. Today’s musings discuss the storylines behind both teams, while also checking in on Chicago’s coaching rumors.

Detroit Lions (0-10-1)

Lost 16-14 vs. Chicago; Next vs. Minnesota

Winless Detroit Lions ‘trying to ruin people’s day’ in final six games of dreadful season

Detroit will assume the role of spoiler for the remainder of the season with the playoffs out of reach.

Detroit Lions hope to learn valuable lesson from ‘crazy amount’ of holding calls on Thanksgiving

The offensive line and the quarterback each take some blame for a whopping six holding calls in another loss.

Dan Campbell: ‘Hard’ to see Detroit Lions RB D’Andre Swift playing vs. Minnesota Vikings

A sprained shoulder may keep one of the Lions’ offensive playmakers out of action against a divisional rival this week.

Chicago Bears (4-7)

Won 16-14 at Detroit; Next vs. Arizona

Week 12 recap: Chicago Bears need a 4th-quarter rally — and a FG as time expires — to snap their 5-game losing streak and beat the winless Detroit Lions 16-14

Chicago avoided an absolutely awful week, and potentially a coach firing, by winning a walk-off.

LOOK: Bizarre coin toss gets Bears-Lions Thanksgiving Day festivities started

In case you missed it, both teams tried to defer possession of the ball until the second half during the Thanksgiving coin toss.

Report: Bears expected to consider these offensive coaches to replace Matt Nagy

It seems very apparent that Nagy will be gone at the end of the season. Here are three early candidates, including an offensive mind with previous head coaching experience, that could replace him.

Minnesota Vikings (5-6)

Lost 34-26 at San Francisco; Next at Detroit

San Francisco 49ers 34, Minnesota Vikings 26 : Errors spell doom for Vikings by the Bay

Turnovers, missed extra points, and two-minute drill scores doomed Minnesota again on Sunday as they fell to 5-6 on the season.

Kirk Cousins’ simple explanation for lining up under wrong Vikings player

During a crucial red-zone moment, Cousins created some humor when he lined up under his right guard and had to burn a timeout.

Vikings RB Dalvin Cook to miss time with torn labrum, dislocated shoulder

As Minnesota prepares for the stretch run to the postseason, it will likely do so without Cook for an extended period of time, if not for the full season.