NFC North player wire

Summary of news and notes on individuals within the division

GREEN BAY PACKERS
? DT Johnny Jolly will be in recovery mode throughout the offseason after undergoing surgery late last year for a torn rotator cuff that ended his 2007 season in November. Head coach Mike McCarthy indicated that Jolly, who started alongside nose tackle Ryan Pickett for most of the season, is questionable to be ready for the start of training camp in late July.

? Head coach Mike McCarthy rounded out his coaching staff March 7 by hiring Joe Whitt Jr. as defensive quality control coach and Mondray Gee as a strength-and-conditioning assistant. Whitt was Atlanta's assistant defensive backs coach last season. Gee was a strength-and-conditioning assistant with Detroit the last seven years.

? The Packers begin their offseason workout program March 17, with the arrival of the quarterbacks and their first- and second-year players. The older players will report for workouts March 31.

CHICAGO BEARS
? MLB Brian Urlacher is doing well and rehabbing in Phoenix following minor neck surgery which isn't considered career threatening, according to the team. He is expected to be completely healthy long before training camp starts, but general manager Jerry Angelo declined to offer a timetable or to say how active the six-time Pro Bowler will be in off-season work.

? S Mike Brown could be completely recovered from his torn ACL by camp, since it happened in Week One. But Brown's lengthy injury history could make him a salary cap casualty if he won't accept a renegotiated deal.

? DT Tommie Harris' postseason knee scope is considered minor.

? NT Dusty Dvoracek's torn ACL should be fine by training camp, since the injury occurred in the 2007 season opener.

? CB Nate Vasher (groin) is already considered healed after missing 12 weeks during the season.

? RB Cedric Benson (fractured ankle) says he'll be 100 percent by camp, but he will probably be on a limited schedule, maybe through the preseason.

DETRIOT LIONS
? WR Roy Williams' name continues to surface in trade rumors. President Matt Millen has said he will listen to any offer for anyone, but the Lions want to keep Williams. At the NFL scouting combine, coach Rod Marinelli said he wanted Williams to team with Calvin Johnson the way Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer teamed for the New York Giants. "I know the rumors are out there, but no," Marinelli said. "Those two guys together, I want to see those guys where they can really impact the game." So Marinelli doesn't see a scenario where Williams is not back with the Lions? "I don't," Marinelli said. "I'm very confident he's here. Very confident."

? RB Kevin Jones has been rehabbing from his ACL surgery in Alabama and is reportedly ahead of schedule, but no one can say whether he will be ready for training camp. Jones has one year left on his contract, and running back is another position the Lions will address in the draft, perhaps with their top pick.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS
? QB Tarvaris Jackson will likely be the Vikings' starting quarterback in 2008, but the organization has explored its options when it comes to adding a veteran backup. This included trade talks with Houston about Sage Rosenfels -- the Texans wanted a second-round draft pick and the Vikings were offering a No. 3 -- and inquiries about free agents such as Cleo Lemon and Josh McCown.

The Vikings released veteran Kelly Holcomb just before the start of free agency, leaving them with Jackson and Brooks Bollinger. Clearly, they aren't comfortable with that situation.

? WR Bobby Wade has been rehabbing his left knee in Arizona after undergoing arthroscopic surgery. Wade injured the knee in October and played the rest of the season despite being hobbled.


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