Bears-Less NFL Week 2 Pre-Party Open Thread

*consulting the Lovie Smith Emotional Chart...* Somewhere between "Packers" and "Philip Rivers."

The Bears don't play today, but there's still a full slate of NFL games going on for today and tomorrow, so let's get you ready for the games going on.

And one of the lead stories crossing the wires today is on replacement ref Brian Stropolo being pulled from his assignment of covering the New Orleans Saints versus the Carolina Panthers... because he's a Saints fan. No joke. According to the story, it's not like it was a big secret, since on August 25 he posted pictures of himself in Saints gear at their preseason game that day, in addition to other photos of him in Saints gear.

Does that sound like something that might be considered a minor oversight, or is it just me? I don't doubt he could be an impartial referee, as I don't know the guy or anything like that, but judging by the comments his status update generated, probably not in his or the league's best interest to have him work the game.

Again, isn't that something you figure out before the schedule comes out? Just a hunch. More links after the jump.

Baltimore takes on Philadelphia in the early set, and so far it looks like contract talks between the Ravens and Joe Flacco have stalled - the team and player had almost come to a deal, but that was six weeks ago, and nothing had budged since. That's not stalled, amigos... that's broken down on the side of the road in a thunderstorm holding out a thumb.

From that same game, Jeremy Maclin and Desean Jackson are both expected to play this week.

Anthony Hargrove is continuing his "It wasn't me! It was the one-armed man!" impersonation.

Apparently Dwight Freeney's leg got it worse than they thought - he was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain. The Colts take on the Vikings today, and needless to say, Freeney won't be part of the plans, as he's already out.

Got Ryan Mathews in fantasy? Glue him back to your bench today - he's not likely to play against the Titans. I wouldn't object to benching Chris Johnson either.

Word of warning folks, if you want a street free agent to come in and instantly be a starter on your team's offensive line, this is what you might end up with. J'Marcus Webb, or a guy that hasn't played in three years? You decide.

More false starts by quarterbacks are coming from this rule.

Don't mess with Karl Dunbar. Great stuff about the Jets' defensive line coach.

Got Fred Jackson? Got C.J. Spiller? One of you two would be very happy right about now. It ain't the former.

If you want some more Bears/Packers break down, I'll turn it over to Matt Bowen, who again does some outstanding stuff with the Packers' 2-Man coverage against the Bears.

Any more interesting links, fantasy questions, last minute stuff, drop 'em in the comments. Sorry this is up late today. Game threads will pop as the day progresses, at about the time the next round of games is set to begin, with the first at 1 PM ET.

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