>>Packers Host Vikings Sunday
The Minnesota Vikings have clinched the division title and have an eye on securing a first-round bye and possibly earning home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
The Green Bay Packers, on the other hand, are out of the playoff picture. Aaron Rodgers, whose right collarbone was broken during a season-defining loss at Minnesota in Week 6, is back on injured reserve after throwing three interceptions in a killer loss at Carolina.
The landscape of the NFL underwent a seismic shift during the first quarter of the teams' matchup in Minneapolis on Oct. 15. That's when Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr took Rodgers to the turf after a pass. Rodgers suffered a broken right collarbone. Minnesota won 23-10 to record the second of eight consecutive wins. The Packers went on to lose four of Brett Hundley's first five starts at quarterback.
Rodgers returned last week but the Packers lost 31-24 at Carolina. Green Bay put Rodgers back on injured reserve and has turned over the offense again to Hundley.
Hundley will face an enormous challenge against Minnesota's powerful defense. The Vikings rank second in the NFL in total defense and scoring defense. Defensive end Everson Griffen, who has 13 sacks, Barr and cornerback Xavier Rhodes were selected to the Pro Bowl team on Tuesday.
Green Bay is No. 30 in opponent passer rating (100.5) and No. 31 in opponent completion percentage (68.4). Vikings quarterback Case Keenum is No. 8 in rating (98.9) and No. 2 in completion percentage (67.9).
On the injury front, Packers receiver Davante Adams remains in the concussion protocol following the helmet-to-helmet hit by Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis that resulted in Davis getting a one-week suspension. Adams is second in the NFL with 10 touchdown catches.
Starting outside linebackers Clay Matthews (hamstring) and Nick Perry (ankle/shoulder) and guard Jahri Evans (knee) also didn't practice for Green Bay. For Minnesota, reserve cornerback Tramaine Brock (foot) was the only player to not practice.
>>Bears Host Browns Sunday
Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky's next opportunity will arrive Sunday afternoon when Chicago (4-10) hosts the Browns (0-14) at Soldier Field. The game carries no playoff implications but could affect draft positioning as well as future jobs for coaches and players.
An unwanted piece of history could be on the line, too. Cleveland needs one win in its final two games to avoid joining the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams in NFL history to lose 16 games in a regular season.
The Browns' only victory in 2016 was on Christmas Eve against the then-San Diego Chargers.
The North Carolina alum has a 77.8 passer rating (1,822 yards, seven TDs, seven interceptions) while rushing for 202 yards and a touchdown. In his most recent game against the Detroit Lions, he completed 31 of 46 pass attempts for 314 yards -- all season highs -- but was hounded by three interceptions.
The matchup of rookie quarterbacks offers an element of intrigue to an otherwise unattractive matchup. The Bears have lost five of their past six games to ensure their fourth consecutive season with double-digit losses. The Browns have dropped double-digit games nine times in the past 10 seasons and have not reached the playoffs since 2002.
The Bears hope to end on a high note in their home finale. They are 2-5 on the lakefront this season under coach John Fox, whose job security is tenuous at best with a 13-33 record since he joined the team in 2015.
Chicago running back Jordan Howard has provided a bright spot as he has rushed for 1,069 yards and seven touchdowns. Leading wide receiver Kendall Wright has 50 catches for 558 yards and a touchdown.
On defense, the Bears are led by Akiem Hicks, who has eight sacks but was passed over this week during Pro Bowl selections. Rookie safety Eddie Jackson leads the unit with a pair of interceptions.
Cleveland is led on defense by rookie defensive end Myles Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in 2017, who has recorded five sacks in nine games. Cornerback Jason McCourty leads the team with three interceptions.
With a win, the Bears would complete a season sweep of the AFC North.