NFC North Notes: Vikings, Packers, Lions

After starting 35 games for the Vikings over the last three seasons, Christian Ponder heads into the 2014 preseason as the No. 3 quarterback on the team’s depth chart, behind Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater. However, he’s trying not to let his precarious situation in Minnesota bother him — according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Ponder recognizes that he has to “be prepared” despite not getting as many reps this summer as Cassel and Bridgewater, and adds that he doesn’t expect to be traded before the regular season gets underway.

Here’s more from around the NFC North:

  • Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link) has heard there’s been a little dialogue between the Vikings and Brandon Fusco‘s camp about a contract extension for the offensive lineman. However, according to Fusco himself, nothing is imminent at this point. Minnesota’s starting right guard is heading into the final year of his rookie deal.
  • With swing tackle Don Barclay expected to be placed on injured reserve, Packers GM Ted Thompson doesn’t expect his club to be in the market for a veteran offensive lineman, says Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • As we heard last night, the Lions‘ waiver claim of former 49ers wideout Jonathan Baldwin has yet to be finalized, while the team evaluates his medical situation. According to Carlos Monarrez and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Baldwin took his physical on Tuesday, but there are some concerns about his knee. “I’m not sure exactly the timetable on when we have to (make a decision),” head coach Jim Caldwell said. “(GM) Martin (Mayhew) and those guys stay on top of those kind of stuff, but we’re evaluating him right now.”
  • One of the Lions‘ offseason coaching changes involved bringing in a new defensive coordinator, and as Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News writes, newcomer Teryl Austin likes what he has seen from the unit so far.
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