NFC Notes: Lions, Harbaugh, Cards, Eagles

After cutting Alex Henery, the Lions are in the market for a new kicker (again) and there aren’t a ton of options out there outside of Jay Feely and Matt Prater, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Other available names include Giorgio Tavecchio, Derek Dimke, and 38-year-old Neil Rackers, while Adam Caplan of (Twitter link) mentions veterans Connor Barth, Rian Lindell, and Garrett Hartley as other possibilities.

With Feely, Prater, and Barth all set to audition for Detroit on Tuesday, let’s round up a few more notes on the Lions’ kicking options, as well as other updates from around the NFC:

  • As Feely prepares to try out for the Lions, he’s helped by the fact that punter Sam Martin handles kickoffs for Detroit, tweets Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Martin is one of a few punters to handle kickoff duty in the NFL and that means Feely will only be needed for his strength: Nailing field goals.
  • Some Lions fans have wondered aloud if Jason Hanson would entertain the idea of coming out of retirement, but Hanson’s agent tells Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (on Twitter) that his client is done playing football.
  • As reports of tension between 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and his players continue to pile up, many in the locker room came to his defense after yesterday’s 22-17 win over the Chiefs, writes Matt Maiocco of “There’s really been no drama. It’s all been created by you guys (media), something to talk about. We seriously don’t think about that, talk about that, give that any thought. . . . We don’t care,” said left tackle Joe Staley. Kicker Phil Dawson and quarterback Colin Kaepernick also showed their support for Harbaugh.
  • 49ers CEO Jed York issued yet another denial of reports that Harbaugh will be out of a job even if the team wins the Super Bowl this year. “It’s categorically not true,” York told DIRECTV’s Rich Eisen, according to Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group. York acknowledged that Harbaugh can sometimes rub people the wrong way, but also said that the coach and GM Trent Baalke “work fairly well together.”
  • Cardinals general manager Steve Keim says that he won’t be adding another quarterback yet, writes Darren Urban of In theory, both Drew Stanton and Carson Palmer could be ready for the Redskins this week. The team will determine the status of both in the next day or two and go from there.
  • The Eagles emphasized upgrading special teams in the offseason and yesterday was proof they accomplished that, writes Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Eagles’ first score on Sunday came on a blocked punt and they have four special-teams touchdowns this season, including one in each of the last three games.
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