NFC North Daily: Breakfast Hot Links for May 30th, 2012

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2012

Almost to the end of this incredibly long week. And by long, I mean shortened by a day.

It's hard to get back into the swing of things after a long weekend, and by the time you do, it's the weekend again.

Today we'll catch up on a sudden retirement, continued OTAs news, players returning from injury, some holding out and a tight end who says he played like a robot last year.

See for yourself!


Minnesota Vikings

According to ESPN1500, Jasper Brinkley is sure he can take over at middle linebacker for E.J. Henderson, despite not playing in a game last season

Jeremy Fowler says the Vikings are placing a big emphasis on players attending "voluntary" OTAs this year. The fact is that OTAs are only voluntary in theory—most teams want their guys there, and it's important to work together and get on the same page after all the time off. With that in mind, it's good to hear that Judd Zulgad says Percy Harvin is hoping to return to OTAs next week after offseason surgery.

The Pioneer Press also had a piece talking about the sudden retirement of 24 year old cornerback Asher Allen. The retirement of course comes as a shock, and much of what I have heard thus far leads me to believe at least some of the reasoning was the two concussions he had over the past two seasons.

Don't be shocked if we see more of this as time goes on, if nobody can find a way to reduce the rate of concussions. It just won't be worth the risk to some people.

Chicago Bears

I've talked about the uncertainty surrounding Johnny Knox and a potential return to football, especially after he showed up to the facilities noticeably underweight. Vaughn McClure has a great piece on how Knox's struggles have motivated Devin Hester this offseason.

I'm as critical of the use of Hester as anyone, but everyone has a tipping point—something that pushes him to greatness or sometimes mediocrity. Maybe Hester just found his.

There may be some concern about second-year tackle Gabe Carimi's durability (after one whole injury), but Brad Biggs says Carimi is on schedule for being a full participant in training camp on July 30th. Carimi practiced Tuesday but not Wednesday, though he told ESPNChicago it was all part of the plan.

Detroit Lions

Anwar Richardson reports that Lions President Tom Lewand isn't upset at the absence of Cliff Avril from OTAs.

Yes, we've been focusing a lot on the Lions' off-field issues, but it keeps happening and so people keep talking about it. Today it's Lions vice chairman Bill Ford who says that "some of our young guys have got to get their act together.'"

Green Bay Packers

Brian Carriveau says that staying at right tackle suits Bryan Bulaga just fine.

Jermichael Finley says last year he felt like a robot and told Jason Wilde he plans to freelance more. I'm not sure what that means, but if it means catch the ball and look less stiff—more power to him. It does sound like he was overthinking quite a bit last year, and that is bad for a football player.

Eric Walden spent a little time in the clink last year and told Tyler Dunne that he's looking at football in a whole different way.

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