The Chicago Bears signed fullback Tony Fiammetta to the 53-man roster, while also adding rookie quarterback David Fales to the practice squad.

The Bears brought back Fiammetta and Fales after cutting the duo last week in a series of roster moves brought about due to a rash of injuries along the offensive line and at receiver. Fiammetta had been nursing a hamstring injury headed into Week 2, while Fales had missed practice time because of a shoulder injury.

A six-year veteran, Fiammetta serves primarily as a lead blocker for Matt Forte, and has run the ball 11 times for 26 yards throughout his career, while also producing 130 yards on 12 catches in 50 games with 24 starts.

Fales, meanwhile, joined the Bears as a sixth-round pick out of San Jose State.

Over two seasons at San Jose State, Fales started in 25 games, throwing for 8,382 yards and 66 touchdowns with 22 interceptions. Fales has impressed the staff enough throughout his brief tenure with the Bears, that he would likely develop into a potential backup to starter Jay Cutler.

With the Bears placing cornerback Charles Tillman on the injured reserve, it's expected the club in the coming days will make more roster moves.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy wasn't necessarily accusing the New York Jets of any funny business, but he expressed surprise that they were not surprised by his surprise onside kick in Sunday's game.

McCarthy made the call to try the onside kick with 3:12 left in the second quarter after a field goal cut the Jets' lead to 21-9. Mason Crosby popped the ball up, but the Jets were ready for it and easily recovered.

"I felt like they were in our huddle, frankly," McCarthy said Monday. "Just the way they lined up to it is disturbing to me. It's something we've never shown. It's a formation we've never been in."

Special teams coach Shawn Slocum said Crosby hit the kick exactly how he was instructed, which should have given the Packers a better chance to recover it.

It was a bold move at the time, but it did not cost the Packers anything because cornerback Tramon Williams picked off Jets quarterback Geno Smith on the ensuing possession.

"I kind of pushed the envelope there," McCarthy said. "I was trying to steal a series back, frankly, that we lost at the beginning of the game, and the fact that they had the ball coming out in the second half. Like a lot of times when you make those kind of decisions, a lot of those variables are looked at before the game, so you're able to react to it. The timing of it, I thought the risk was definitely worth it."
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers have lost one of their core special-teams players, backup linebacker Andy Mulumba, to a knee injury, but starting safety Micah Hyde appears to have avoided a major injury.

Both were injured in Sunday's win over the New York Jets.

Hyde, who was injured at the end of a second-quarter punt return, said Monday that he has some swelling in his left knee but believes it was just a bruise.

"I just took a little shot on the knee cap, nothing serious," he said. "Nothing major. Just a little soreness."

However, Mulumba was not as fortunate. He was injured while covering a punt in the fourth quarter and sustained what coach Mike McCarthy called a "significant" injury. That's usually code for a torn ACL, although McCarthy declined to give specifics.

"It didn't look good during the game, and it doesn't sound very good," McCarthy said.

The most puzzling injury situation, however, was to cornerback Casey Hayward. He did not play at all on defense after playing 36 of 70 snaps in Week 1.

Against the Jets, the Packers used Davon House as their No. 3 cornerback, which was in the plans all along. However, Hayward also did not play in the dime (Jarrett Bush got that call) and defensive coordinator Dom Capers said Hayward may have been dealing with a hamstring injury -- the same injury that limited him to three games last season. Yet Hayward still managed to play 11 special-teams snaps.

McCarthy said Hayward was checked out by the team’s medical staff on Monday but did not have any update. The team does not have to file an injury report for this week's game at the Detroit Lions until Wednesday.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions have opened up a roster spot.

After promoting Nate Ness from the practice squad Saturday and playing him on special teams Sunday, the Lions released Ness on Monday, perhaps to open up room for another defensive back signing.

The Lions are in need of cornerbacks, having lost Bill Bentley for the season with a torn ACL and Nevin Lawson for an undetermined amount of time -- possibly the season -- after having surgery for dislocated toes.

The Lions cut Ness during the end of training camp and then brought him back to the practice squad as one of the two exceptions instituted by the NFL. He is eligible to return to Detroit's practice squad if the Lions choose to do that.

This leaves Detroit with at least one and maybe two spots open on the roster depending what happens with Lawson.

Marshall happy to ease Bears fans' panic

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
Brandon Marshall could feel the sense of panic in Chicago Bears fans after their team was upset at home in Week 1 by the Buffalo Bills and faced the challenge on Sunday night of winning on the road against the San Francisco 49ers for the first time since 1985.

"It felt like 60 percent of Chicago, of Illinois, started panicking," Marshall said Monday on "The Brandon Marshall Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "It felt like that. 'Our season's over.' "

They were panicking because the favored Bears, despite racking up 427 yards of offense, dropped their opener to a Bills team that has struggled on the road. They turned the ball over three times, including a fumble by Marshall, and the defense allowed 193 yards rushing by Buffalo, a season removed from finishing last in the NFL against the run.

And when the Bears trailed the 49ers 17-0 late in the first half on Sunday night, that panic meter likely cranked up even more. But Marshall, playing on a bad ankle, went a long way in easing that anxiety by catching three touchdowns during a Bears comeback that saw them outscore the 49ers 28-3 over the final 30:13 on Monday night.

"If we can continue to get wins like the one [Sunday night], halfway through the season I think that's when we're really going to hit our mark, because right now we're not where we should be but we have the attitude and the work ethic to get there," Marshall said.

With an 0-2 hole -- and the long odds of making the playoffs that go along with that start -- averted, the Bears are just like each of the other three teams in the NFC North -- tied at 1-1. How good can the Bears be this season? Marshall believes a comeback road win like Sunday's will help them later on in the season.

"I think we can be really good. I think our play shows that, I think our roster shows that, but we've got to put in the work," Marshall said. "A lot of guys are champions on paper, but you've got to build that chemistry, you've got to continue to bond, continue to get better every week. That's the good thing about games like that [Sunday night] where it's tough, but what happens is those games build character, it builds a stronger backbone. That's a better win for us than going in there and blowing out the 49ers.

"For us to come back in that type of environment builds a strong backbone, something that you need to be successful in this game."
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Here’s a weekly look at some numbers behind the Detroit Lions' 24-7 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

0 – Turnovers caused by Detroit against Carolina.

1 – Reception by Calvin Johnson when Matthew Stafford threw the ball more than 10 yards.

3 – Drops by Lions pass catchers Sunday, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

3.89 – Yards per rush for the Lions on Sunday, 20th in the NFL.

4 – Consecutive road losses by Detroit, dating back to last season.

5 – Receptions by Johnson from 10 yards and in.

11 – Targets to Joique Bell, the second most in Bell’s career.

49 – Yards of both field goals Nate Freese missed against Carolina.

55.0 – Stafford’s QBR on Sunday, 43 points lower than his QBR in the season opener.

62 – Offensive snaps Johnson played Sunday.

66 – Offensive snaps Golden Tate played Sunday.

72.5 – Stafford’s passer rating Sunday, more than 50 points lower than the opening week of the season.

108 – Consecutive games with a reception for Johnson, a franchise record.

130 – Consecutive games played by Stephen Tulloch, the longest active streak for a defensive player in the league.

150 – Don Muhlbach's games with the Lions. He’s the 20th person to play 150 games for the team.

Some statistics provided were courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information. Follow Stats & Information on Twitter @ESPNStatsInfo.

The Film Don't Lie: Bears

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
A weekly look at what the Chicago Bears must fix:

The run-pass ratio remains lopsided for Chicago (35 runs to 83 passes), and although the club faces the league’s top run defense next Monday night in the New York Jets, the Bears need to achieve some balance in that area.

Consider the Bears' run-pass ratio in their 28-20 win over the 49ers in the context that the Bears played catch-up most of the night. But Chicago needs to run the ball into the teeth of New York’s run-stuffing unit to keep it from dictating the flow. If the Jets can make the Bears one-dimensional, they can pin back their ears and come after Jay Cutler.

Matt Forte averaged 4.8 yards per carry in the Bears' opening game against Buffalo. Make him more of a focal part of the offense to get him into the flow of the game while opening up play-action and bootlegs for Cutler to make things happen on the move.

The Film Don't Lie: Vikings

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
A weekly look at what the Vikings must fix:

Minnesota allowed six sacks Sunday afternoon in a game where the New England Patriots moved Chandler Jones from a 3-4 outside linebacker position to a 4-3 defensive end spot, putting him in position to work against left tackle Matt Kalil for a large portion of the game. Kalil gave up two sacks -- one to Jones on a speed rush, and one to linebacker Dont'a Hightower on a blitz.

Even though the Vikings will face a New Orleans Saints team that has just two sacks this season, they'll be returning to a dome, where noise figures to be a factor in the Saints' home opener. If the Vikings want to avoid a second consecutive loss and get their offense in order after a 30-7 defeat on Sunday, they'll have to do a better job protecting Matt Cassel.

One thing to keep in mind is how much more help the Vikings were able to give Kalil in Week 1 than they did in Week 2 through the use of either tight end Rhett Ellison or Kyle Rudolph in a blocking role. Part of that, of course, was due to the score of the game against the Patriots and the fact the Vikings had to spend much more time in three-receiver sets as they tried to rally than they did in Week 1. But if the Vikings find themselves in that situation again, they have to be able to trust their left tackle to handle his man. It's worth noting, too, that Kalil and Charlie Johnson gave up a combined three quarterback hits and six hurries, according to

With Adrian Peterson back this week, the Saints undoubtedly will have more to think about in stopping the Vikings' offense, but if the pass protection isn't better, there's only so much even Peterson can alleviate.

The Film Don't Lie: Packers

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
A weekly look at what the Green Bay Packers must fix:

What was the seventh-best rushing attack in the NFL last season has been rendered ineffective through the first two weeks of this season, and reigning offensive rookie of the year Eddie Lacy has not found much running room.

The Packers rank 24th in the NFL in rushing yards (160), and nearly 18 percent of that total has come from quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Packers rank 26th in yards per carry (3.7) and it might not get any easier to fix that this week, considering they play in Detroit against the Lions, who through Sunday's games have allowed just 57.5 yards rushing per game, the second-lowest total in the league.

In Sunday's win over the New York Jets, Lacy carried 13 times for 43 yards, but only three of those runs went outside the tackles and he broke only one tackle, according to

"There was obviously a commitment to take Eddie Lacy out of the game," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said of the way the Jets defended his team.

Regardless, the Packers need to take some of the pressure off Rodgers and receiver Jordy Nelson, who is about the only consistent offensive weapon they have right now. Nothing would do that better than re-establishing the running game.

The Film Don't Lie: Lions

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
A weekly look at what the Detroit Lions must fix:

Other than one drive in the second half against New York in the opener, the Lions’ running game has struggled the first two weeks of the season. Joique Bell and Reggie Bush each have fewer than 100 yards rushing this season. Bell has 87 yards on 25 carries. Bush has 41 yards on 15 carries. Neither has gained more than 12 yards on a single run.

Despite Bell playing more snaps and having more carries, Lions coach Jim Caldwell said the team’s starting running back is as listed on the depth chart, which means Bush. Caldwell said they will be balancing both backs, but right now, the Lions would be happy to get consistent production from either one of them.

The Lions are hosting a Packers team that has the second-worst run defense in the league, allowing 176.5 yards per game.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Jim Caldwell didn’t want to make any rash decisions Sunday after Nate Freese missed two field goals in Detroit’s loss to Carolina.

A day later, though, Caldwell didn’t give Freese a ringing endorsement, either.

“We’re still discussing, talking, looking at different options,” Caldwell said Monday. “I still believe this young man is going to be a fine kicker in this league. I don’t think there is any question about that.

“We’ll see how it goes here but I still believe, you look at him, he had three kicks of 50 yards plus in the preseason, so you know he can get it out there. Sometimes guys just have a bad day, but we’ll look at that.”

Caldwell declined to say whether the team will audition kickers this week. Among the available kickers are the player Freese beat out during training camp, Giorgio Tavecchio, and veterans Jay Feely and Rob Bironas. Feely was cut by Arizona during the preseason and Bironas was released by Tennessee in March.

As far as Freese having a bad day, these types of struggles have not been new for him. He has not made a field goal this season over 30 yards – he’s 0 of 3 including two misses from 49 yards on Sunday – and had some consistency issues during training camp as well.

As the Lions decide what to do with Freese, they are also working on trying to figure out what his struggles are.

“We don’t analyze it any differently than any other position when you have some mistakes and problems you need to get corrected,” Caldwell said. “We try to look at those from a technical standpoint. We try to look at all the variables just to make sure we narrow it down and see if we can solve the problem.

“Take a look at what the problem was, what caused the problem and how do we go about correcting it.”
ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Reggie Bush may be listed as the Detroit Lions’ starting running back, but the snaps don’t lie.

Joique Bell is seeing more action.

That’s one of the biggest things to pull from the first two weeks of snap counts, particularly Sunday against Carolina, where Bell had 42 plays compared to Bush’s 29. The more interesting part is Bush’s usage seemed to go down as the game wore on, even as the Lions were shifting from a balanced team to a team needing to pass to score because they fell behind.

And then there’s Bell’s fumble -- offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said he isn’t going to punish a guy for fumbling once or twice as long as it isn’t habit-forming. The fumble didn’t hurt his usage, either. Last week, Bell had five more snaps than Bush.

It always felt like the Bell/Bush combination would be a time-sharing situation anyway, but the way it has broken down so far certainly is an indication that it might be Bell more than Bush as Detroit’s main running back.

Meanwhile, Theo Riddick had just two offensive snaps Sunday as the third back.

Some other snap count thoughts:
  • Garrett Reynolds received the start at right tackle over Cornelius Lucas and played 55 of 72 snaps (76 percent). Lucas came in, mostly late in the game from what I could tell, and played 17 snaps at right tackle. It isn’t clear when LaAdrian Waddle will return from his calf injury, but when he does, he’ll end up right back in the lineup as neither player was overly impressive.
  • The tight end snap count is going to be something to watch. As long as Waddle is out, expect Brandon Pettigrew to get a decent amount of snaps (35 of 72), followed by Joseph Fauria (25 of 72) and Eric Ebron (26 of 72). Fauria is turning into the most complete tight end of the three, mostly due to his massively improved blocking. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Pettigrew’s snaps drop while Fauria’s and Ebron’s rise over the course of the season.
  • George Johnson is starting to emerge as Detroit’s third defensive end. He played 27 of 67 snaps on Sunday, nine more than Devin Taylor (18 of 67) and 13 more than Darryl Tapp (14 of 67). He has had the production to match it. Johnson had another tackle against Carolina.
  • Cassius Vaughn’s snaps are about to go up. With Nevin Lawson out for a while and no other corners on the roster right now, he’s likely to slide into the nickel corner spot that seems to be an injury-prone area right now after Bill Bentley’s ACL tear in Week 1 and Lawson’s dislocated foot Sunday. Cornerback Rashean Mathis, who could also play inside, had confidence in Vaughn and so did the coaches. Even before Lawson’s injury, he was getting some run at the slot corner. It’s almost a guarantee Detroit is making a move for a defensive back again this week. At least one of them.

Mike McCarthy: No more bench penalties

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Whether it was Rob Davis or Edgar Bennett or someone else on the Green Bay Packers' sideline, coach Mike McCarthy vowed that it won't happen again -- that there won't be any more penalties on his bench.

It happened in the second quarter of Sunday's comeback win against the Jets, and at the time it looked like a costly mistake. The Packers trailed 21-3, and Jordy Nelson had just picked up 17 yards on a catch near the sideline. The Packers wanted a late hit on Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, who drove Nelson to the ground near the sideline.

Not only did they not get that call, but they were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for apparently arguing the no call. It appeared Davis, who is not a member of the coaching staff but works with players off the field, or Bennett, the team's receivers coach -- or perhaps both -- were upset that the play carried on outside the boundary. Line judge Byron Boston heard something he deemed unruly from the Packers.

"That's disappointing," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "Byron called it on our bench. He said someone said some things to him, and he reacted quickly. Obviously at the end of the play, I don't remember who exactly was going out of bounds, but there looked to be a potential late hit. Things were said and a flag went up.

"I've talked to a number of people, I talked to Byron about it a couple times. I don't know who he threw it on. That's what's kind of in question. But the penalty was on our bench, which is not ... we're not going to do that no more."

Nelson's catch would have put the ball at the Jets' 28-yard line, but the flag backed up the Packers to the 43. They still managed a field goal on the drive after failing to score a touchdown despite having first-and-goal at the 5.

Packers rookie Adams makes his move

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
GREEN BAY, Wis. – Somewhere in the middle of Jordy Nelson's career-best day against the New York Jets on Sunday, another Green Bay Packers receiver showed up as a playmaker for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

And it was not Randall Cobb, despite his two touchdown catches.

In fact, when it was suggested to Cobb that he had a big day, the fourth-year receiver replied with what he thought was his receiving yardage total.

"[I had] 34 yards," said Cobb, who actually had 39 but his point that it wasn't much was clearly understood.

But in Sunday's 31-24 comeback win over the New York Jets, rookie receiver Davante Adams made his first appreciable contribution to the Packers' offense. The second-round pick from Fresno State caught five passes for 50 yards, including 24 on a third-down slant during the Packers' 97-yard touchdown drive late in the second quarter.

"It's plays like that that give you a lot of confidence as a young player, and I'm really proud of him," Rodgers said. "He stepped up. He played really well. I think he'll start to settle in, and you'll see even more big plays from him."

In the process, Adams supplanted Jarrett Boykin as the No. 3 receiver, at least for the remainder of the game.

"It was big," said Adams, who did not have any passes thrown his way in Week 1. "I feel like I'm just scratching the surface though. I've just got to continue to grow from here and that type of stuff is only going to make me better."

Adams appeared to be pushing for the No. 3 receiver spot early in training camp but never made a serious run at Boykin. However, after Boykin dropped one pass and couldn't connect with Rodgers on another during the same second-quarter drive, Adams got the call.

"He's earned those opportunities; he's been coming on,” coach Mike McCarthy said. "You're giving him a shot, see if he can give us a spark, and he made some plays. That's the beauty of competition. You want all these guys competing each and every day. Boykin, I love the young man. He's going to play a lot of football for us. When someone makes plays you keep him in there."

Linsley, Rodgers overcome bad snap

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
GREEN BAY, Wis. – For all the concern over rookie center Corey Linsley heading into last week's season opener at the Seattle Seahawks, it came as a bit of a surprise that the first exchange problem he had with quarterback Aaron Rodgers came in the Week 2 home opener against the New York Jets on Sunday.

After performing without much of a problem in the noise at Seattle, Linsley's first snap at Lambeau Field turned into a disaster.

Under center for the first play from scrimmage, Rodgers did not get the ball cleanly from Linsley and fumbled. Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson recovered it at the Packers' 16-yard line to set up an easy touchdown.

"Aaron said it was a little short, so it was a little short," Linsley said. "And that's all I've got to say about that."

Rodgers, who yelled at Linsley last week against the Seahawks after the two had a problem with one of the snap counts, did not make much of an issue out of the fumble. After the play, he, Linsley and offensive line coach James Campen had a brief conversation near the bench.

"We started off terribly with a fumbled snap that hasn't happened here in, I would dare say six years, possibly," Rodgers said. "It's been a while. So that was a bad start."