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Spying on the enemy: NFC North training camp reports week 2

An in-depth look at how the Chicago Bears’ foes have fared in training camp so far.

NFC Championship - Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Last week was an eventful one. The Chicago Bears kicked off their five game preseason slate with a 17-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Canton, Ohio at the Hall of Fame Game.

These preseason final scores never matter, but the Bears took the first of multiple steps in finding out what they have in their 90-man roster. While there were only two teams in game action last week, the rest of the league kicks off their games this week.

Despite no games being played for the team’s division foes, there was plenty of eventful information worth monitoring.

Let’s dive in to last week’s NFC North camp events.

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers v Washington Redskins Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

News and Notes

  • Linebacker Jake Ryan has been lost for the year after tearing his ACL.
  • Right tackle Bryan Bulaga was activated on the PUP list, after passing his physical.
  • Left tackle David Bakhtiari has an ankle sprain but appears to have avoided long-term damage, per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
  • Offensive lineman Jerry Kramer was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
  • According to NFL Trade Rumors, the team has kicked around bringing in veteran linebacker NaVorro Bowman.
  • Head coach Mike McCarthy has been impressed with veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis. He could push for the team’s second tight end position.
  • Offensive lineman Byron Bell limped off the field this weekend, after having what appeared to be back issues. Via Ryan Wood.

Early Returns

  • Oren Burks has been taking Ryan’s snaps at linebacker since the injury.
  • Rookie punter JK Scott has impressed early in camp so far, via Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • Edge rusher Kyle Fackrell has stood out in practice and appears primed for a big sophomore year, per Silverstein.
  • Despite having a new defensive coordinator, Silverstein reports that the Packers defense has had the upper hand in practice thus far.
  • Both running back Aaron Jones (hamstring) and receiver Randall Cobb (ankle) remain out of practice. Neither is expected to be long-term per Silverstein.
  • Receiver Jake Kumerow has impressed early in camp and has earned quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ trust, per Silverstein.

Minnesota Vikings

NFC Championship - Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

News and Notes

  • Receiver Stefon Diggs received a five year, $72 million extension with $40 million in total guarantees.
  • Head coach Mike Zimmer denies rumors that the team was looking to trade Anthony Barr.
  • The NFL announced that Anthony Barr’s hit on Aaron Rodger’s that broke his collarbone would be deemed illegal under the new rules.
  • Former Vikings great Randy Moss was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
  • Receiver Stacy Coley was back at practice this week.
  • Running back Dalvin Cook says he’s ready to face the Broncos this week but it will be a coach’s decision when he gets back into game action.
  • Offensive lineman Mike Remmers remains out of practice with an ankle injury.

Early Returns

  • Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press believes that Mack Brown will win the team’s third running back position.
  • Former Bears center Cornelius Edison is receiving first team snaps, per Tomasson.
  • Tom Compton and Danny Isiodora have split reps with both Remmers and Pat Elflein out, according to Arif Hasan of Zone Coverage Minnesota.
  • According to Hasan, quarterback Kirk Cousins has stretched the field on multiple occasions and has been impressive.
  • Receiver Brandon Zylstra had an impressive outing at the team’s night practice over the weekend.
  • According to Andy Carlson, Laquon Treadwell has a firm grasp on the team’s third receiver role.
  • Carlson believes “there’s no competition” at kicker as long as rookie Daniel Carlson continues to have a strong camp. Veteran Kai Forbath could be on his way out.
  • Former Bear Kendall Wright has been underwhelming in camp and has battled drop issues, via Carlson.

Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

News and Notes

  • Linebacker Devon Kennard was activated on the NFI list this week and is now practicing with the team.
  • Defensive end and former Bear Cornelius Washington was also activated on the NFI list.
  • Ezekiel Ansah was activated of the PUP list and is expect to practice this week.
  • On Tuesday, cornerback Darius Slay limped off the field with an injury but did return to practice the next day via Kyle Meinke of Mlive Media Group.
  • The Lions made a pair of roster moves at receiver, cutting Dom Williams and signing Brian Brown on Saturday.

Early Returns

  • Deshawn Shead appears to have the team’s second starting cornerback position in hand as preseason starts according to Meinke.
  • Linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin appears “noticeably bigger” according to Justin Rogers of the Detroit News.
  • Defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson has been slowed by an injury that has held him out of practice the past few days via Kent Lee Platte of the Pride of Detroit.
  • RB Theo Riddick continues to impress at practice and “nobody can cover him” according to Platte.
  • Platte says the team’s top four corners are “pretty locked in” with Slay, Shead, Nevin Lawson and Quandre Diggs in the slot. He also believes both Jamal Agnew and Teez Tabor will make the team at cornerback, as well.
  • Platte notes that not many undrafted free agents have made any waves. He also doesn’t expect any to make the final roster.
  • Jeff Risdon notes that the team’s tight end group has been very “meh” to this point. Appeared to be a large hole coming into camp. Also called the backup quarterback battle a “very sad” one.
  • Platte notes that tight end Michael Roberts has struggled with drops.

Preseason week one slate:

  • Bears at Bengals (Thursday night) 6pm central.
  • Packers at Titans (Thursday night) 7pm central.
  • Lions at Raiders (Friday night) 9:30 pm central.
  • Vikings at Broncos (Saturday night) 8:00 pm central.