Chicago Bears: With a chance at the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs, Bears coach Matt Nagy said he has no plans to rest quarterback Mitchell Trubisky of any of his other starters in Sunday’s game at San Francisco. “That’s not even in the world of consideration for us,” Nagy said Wednesday. “We’re trying to win. There’s too many other things that can happen and the fact of the matter is, realistically speaking, is we can be a higher seed. If you have an opportunity to do that, they why wouldn’t you try for that?” The NFC North champions are 10-4 and one game behind the Los Angeles Rams for the second seed. If the teams finish tied, Chicago would earn the first-round bye because of its Week 14 win against the Rams at Soldier Field.
Detroit Lions: Rookie running back Kerryon Johnson was officially placed on injured reserve Wednesday, ending a promising debut campaign that included a pair of 100-yard games — the first by a Lions rusher since 2013. The second-rounder from Auburn suffered a left knee sprain in a Week 11 win against Carolina and finishes the season with 118 rushes for 641 yards and three touchdowns, plus 32 catches for 213 yards and a score. Johnson’s average of 5.4 yards per carry is tied for second in the NFL among qualifying backs with fellow rookie Philip Lindsay of the Broncos, trailing only Green Bay’s Aaron Jones (5.5). Jones was also placed on IR this week.
Green Bay Packers: As the Packers prepare for the final road game of the season Sunday against the Jets, one New York player in particular has caught the attention of interim coach Joe Philbin: second-year strong safety Jamal Adams, who was named to his first Pro Bowl on Tuesday. “Their safety really jumps off the tape,” Philbin said Wednesday of Adams, the sixth overall pick in the 2017 draft. “No. 33 is excellent. He’s all over the place. They use him everywhere. They’ll turn him loose at times. We’re going to have to be ready to handle him.” The Packers’ offense may not be at full strength, with quarterback Aaron Rodgers nursing a groin injury, though the QB said Wednesday he plans to play.
Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings sacked Matthew Stafford a whopping 10 times in a Week 9 win against the Lions — and that was without the services of linebacker Anthony Barr. Barr missed that game and two others with a hamstring injury, but enters Sunday’s rematch at Detroit on a roll. “He’s played outstanding, really the last month or so, maybe a little longer,” said coach Mike Zimmer. “He’s always been a good player. I think he’s probably taking it to another level right now.” Barr bagged two sacks in last week’s blowout of against Miami and tallied one the week before at Seattle. “I feel we’ve been playing to my strengths the last few weeks,” Barr told the Pioneer Press. “It’s a positive for myself and for the team.” Barr is in the final year of his rookie contract and set to hit free agency in March.
—Field Level Media