Chicago Bears: Since failing on six of their first 10 possessions in the red zone, the Bears are 12 of 15 inside the opponent's 20 in the past four games. Head coach Matt Nagy dedicates a portion of Friday practice to working on plays he's prone to call in the red zone, and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is now finding the red zone to be his comfort zone. "That's something we've just gotten a lot better at with our mentality, our focus. Then we realize once we get down there, the really good offenses in this league, they take advantage of that and they finish with touchdowns and not settling for field goals," Trubisky said Wednesday. "So I think it's a result of just focus and execution and making the transition from great practices and transitioning it over to the game."
Detroit Lions: Trading leading receiver Golden Tate was not part of the plan for 2018, but when they were offered a third-round pick for a veteran with an expiring contract, general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia were reminded of the big-picture pledge that trumped all in New England. The former Patriots' employees unloaded Tate knowing they could fill his spot on the current roster with Kenny Golloday -- albeit without a certainty Tate's production could be filled right away. "The biggest point for me that I want to make sure people understand is this also shows a lot of confidence in the people in that room. There's great players in that room and there's a lot of them," Patricia said. "There's a lot of guys who have an opportunity to make plays and go out there and play at a high level. And we're all good with that from that standpoint."
Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers didn't hold back when the Packers and new general manager Brian Gutekunst released wide receiver Jordy Nelson and made additional moves that didn't bring in immediate help. With two regulars, running back Ty Montgomery and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix shipped out of Green Bay on Tuesday, Rodgers was again asked about taking the field this week knowing the team subtracted talent. "You have to trust what Brian and his staff are doing," Rodgers said. "I think there's been good communication with those guys about what we need and what's in the best interest of the team with Mike (McCarthy), but I'm not privy to those conversations. The conversations I'm concerned about are the ones in the locker room and how our locker room's doing. We've got to make it work. That's the way it goes in this league. It's a tough business from a friendship standpoint. You lose guys every single year."
Minnesota Vikings: As the Vikings prepare for the Lions, rookie running back Kerryon Johnson is jumping off the film for Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer. "I think they're more committed to running the football, number one. He has been running the ball extremely effective," he said of Johnson. "I'm not sure it's changed the run game all that much. There is a lot of similar runs they've had in the past but they're much more effective at it. He is good. Very good. Runs hard, speed to the perimeter, catches the ball well, has been good in protection. He is a good back."
--Field Level Media
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