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NFC North Rundown: Previewing the division’s top training camp storylines

The Bears have a few wide receivers fighting for roster positioning, and are also counting on a promising second campaign from tight end Cole Kmet.

NFL: NOV 01 Saints at Bears Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As the summer heats up, so too do the storylines surrounding the NFC North as training camp gets underway next week.

Today’s weekly divisional recap includes some of the latest position battles, injuries, and 53-man roster watches as football season finally nears its start. Can one Detroit defensive lineman ultimately reach his potential in year four? Will Minnesota see development from veteran offensive linemen after drafting two possible starters this past spring? Without Kyle Fuller, can Chicago’s secondary get needed production from two second-year starters?

Those questions are raised and more in this week’s rundown.

Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions training camp preview: Can Da’Shawn Hand turn his career around?

With newcomers via the draft, many eyes will be on Hand, a former high-ceiling prospect who might be fighting for a spot on the team in camp.

Detroit Lions training camp battle: Who will fill the all-important WR4 role?

While the Lions’ receiving corps will look drastically different as a whole this season, the number four spot is especially up for grabs. Could a former Green Bay castoff secure that role?

2021 training camp preview: Cornerback

Jeff Okudah will need to earn his starting role in training camp, but who will the starter be on the opposite side of the field? And how about the nickel back?

Minnesota Vikings

Vikings’ Michael Pierce suffers injury ahead of training camp, nose tackle’s availability in doubt, per report

After signing an extension and opting out last season, Pierce suffered an injury that may result in his missing the start of this year’s training camp.

3 Key Vikings Training Camp Questions: Progressions for O’Neill & Bradbury; Rookie OL Outlook

Right tackle Brian O’Neill is looking to take on a leadership role in year four, while a pair of rookie protectors will look to earn starting roles sooner rather than later.

Vikings’ question marks heading into training camp

Special teams will get plenty of attention this summer, but so will the receivers behind Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson.

Chicago Bears

9 Bears players to watch during training camp

Two second-year cornerbacks and a pair of running backs who missed most, if not all, of last season find their names on this list. Cole Kmet is also looking to build upon a great rookie season as the team’s starting tight end.

6 Chicago Bears with the most to prove during training camp

Receivers Riley Ridley and Javon Wims are not only trying to earn playing time next season, they are trying to earn time with the Bears, period.

Bears 2021 training camp roster preview: Safeties

No surprises are expected at the starting safety positions, but here are the candidates to back up an uncertain cornerback group in 2021.