NFC North Notes: Bears, Joseph, Packers

Jimmy Clausen looked better than Jordan Palmer in the Bears’ first preseason game versus Philadelphia, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Clausen had a 73-yard scoring strike and showed encouraging command for a signal caller who only has two months worth of exposure to a new system. Biggs’ “10 thoughts” on the game is full of information:

  • Suspended tight end Martellus Bennett was not with the team, and head coach Marc Trestman did not have any news about Bennett’s return. Biggs says that while the suspension is “indefinite,” the CBA states a ‘conduct detrimental to the team’ suspension can only last four weeks. Additionally, Bennett can only be fined up to one week’s pay, which would be approximately $282k. “A logical return date would be at training camp Sunday, when the team gets on the field again,” speculates Biggs.
  • Chris Williams, who the Bears plucked off the Saints practice squad, showed legitimate speed in beating the Eagles’ secondary for a 73-yard touchdown, but he suffered a mild hamstring pull and did not get the chance to return kicks, presumably the reason the Bears got him.
  • Second-year right tackle Jordan Mills has been sidelined with a sore left foot (the same foot he had surgery on in January), but X-rays showed no structural damage.
  • For years the Bears’ special teams were the envy of the league under the command of Dave Taub (now in Kansas City), but the unit fell off last year under Joe DeCamillis, and Friday night was inauspicious to say the least, as the Bears had a field goal blocked, yielded a kick return score, were inconsistent punting and were called for multiple penalties.
  • Defensive end Trevor Scott, a darkhorse roster candidate, played well. Shea McClellin and Jon Bostic did not.

Here’s some more NFC North notes:

  • With Bennett suspended, Zach Miller raised eyebrows with six catches for 68 yards and a pair of scores, writes ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson. Miller’s career was derailed by injuries, but when healthy, he’s a capable receiving tight end. He’s on a one-year, $645k deal with the Bears.
  • In a team-issued release, the Vikings say nose tackle Linval Joseph‘s calf was struck by a bullett during a Minneapolis nightclub shooting last night. The team says Joseph was an innocent bystander, was treated and released from the hospital and will return to the team next week.
  • Former Bear Julius Peppers hasn’t made a splash yet in Packers camp, and ESPN’s Rob Demovsky wonders if the veteran is pacing himself or if there’s just not much left in the tank.
  • Myles White and Kevin Dorsey are the top candidates for the Packers’ fifth receiver job, says Robert Zizzo of the Press-Gazette.
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