While the Bears can look forward to getting the likes of Gabe Carimi, Jay Cutler, Chris Williams and presumably Matt Forte back from injuries that had them out for the final quarter of last season and more, their colleagues in the NFC North are facing concerns in the other direction.
Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins is hoping to be coming back from a season-ending neck injury. But as recently as last week Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said, If Nick were my son, I would not let him play, and agent Alan Herman did not disagree, according to the Green Bay Post-Gazette.
The Minnesota Vikings have worries of their own with the linchpins of both their running and passing games. The news on rehab progress of running back Adrian Peterson after his December surgery to fix torn knee ligaments continues to be ostensibly positive. But this was major surgery on a high-mileage running back and as strong and diligent as Peterson is about rehab, the target date is generally the start of the season, and thats if everything remains to the good.
On top of that is reportedly minor shoulder surgery for Percy Harvin. The No. 1 receiver (87 receptions) broke the news via Twitter, then reassured with a followup tweet that he would be ready for organized team activities scheduled for May.
Thats encouraging, but as anyone going through shoulder issues knows only too well, its the most complex joint in the body and takes its own sweet time mending. Harvin was the entire focus of the offense last year when Peterson went down so his is a shoulder thats going to be doing some heavy lifting.
The Detroit Lions continue having significant issues at running back as Mikel Leshoure, their second-round pick out of Illinois last season, is facing felony drug possession charges that could lead to as much as a six-game league suspension.
Leshoure missed all of 2011 with a torn Achilles tendon and the Lions already are unsure of Jahvid Bests prospects after a concussion sidelined him last year as well.