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NFC North Rundown: Injury bug bites Detroit as entire division begins 0-1

The Lions will likely face the Packers next week without three key players.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

If the Green Bay Packers were hoping to begin their “last dance” season with a bang, they were very disappointed with the outcome on Sunday.

The Packers dropped the first game of the 2021 regular season to New Orleans, 38-3, as all phases of the team looked lethargic. If there is any silver lining as the Packers look to rebound in Week 2, it is that the team lost little ground with the rest of the division. All four members of the NFC North finished 0-1, with the most concerning news potentially coming out of Detroit.

A plague of injuries befell on the Lions this past weekend, which will leave them depleted at several starting positions heading into their matchup with the Packers. Today’s rundown analyzes those injuries while touching on a pair of sloppy losses for Chicago and Minnesota.

Chicago Bears

Lost 34-14 at LA Rams; Next vs. Cincinnati

10 Bears’ Takes after Chicago’s Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Rams

On Sunday, Matt Nagy’s offense was exactly what it has been over the last few seasons. But perhaps more concerning were the defensive lapses for a secondary that was addressed with few resources this offseason.

Praising faintly: Andy Dalton better than expected in Bears’ loss

“Dalton exceeded low expectations” in his Bears debut against one of the NFC’s top defenses, but nothing is settled at the quarterback position after Week 1.

Blown coverages, fourth-down passes that didn’t reach the first-down marker, and red zone interceptions doomed Chicago on national television.


Minnesota Vikings

Lost 27-24 at Cincinnati; Next at Arizona

Late Fumble, Sloppiness Send Minnesota Vikings Reeling In Season Opener

Minnesota overcame a 14-point deficit and nailed a 53-yard field goal as time expired, only to lose in overtime in Week 1.

Stock up, stock down in Vikings’ loss to the Bengals

The cornerbacks left plenty to be desired against Cincinnati, including old friend Bashaud Breeland, who missed five tackles and allowed a long touchdown pass.

Brian O’Neill signs five-year extension with Minnesota Vikings worth $92.5 million, source says

From late last week, the Vikings are banking on continued growth from the run-blocking O’Neill after making him the league’s second-highest paid right tackle.


Detroit Lions

Lost 41-33 vs. San Francisco; Next at Green Bay

Instant observations: Late comeback attempt not enough for mistake-prone Detroit Lions in loss

Detroit’s defense allowed 9.3 yards per play in the first half, with the first incompletion coming with just 35 seconds to play in the second quarter. Still, the new-look Lions were just one final drive away from forcing overtime.

Detroit Lions CB Jeff Okudah out for 2021 NFL season with ruptured Achilles

The injury bug has bitten the former first-round pick again and an already thin secondary took another big hit.

Detroit Lions place Taylor Decker on injured reserve after finger surgery

On top of Okudah and wide receiver Tyrell Williams, who left the first game with a concussion, Taylor Decker joined the injured reserve list. The Lions will be injury-depleted next week as they travel to Green Bay.