- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- After taking the day off from practice Wednesday to rest several injuries, the Chicago Bears returned to the field Thursday without five players, most notably receiver Earl Bennett (concussion) and cornerback Tim Jennings (shoulder) as they prepare for Sunday's matchup against the Green Bay Packers.
Linebacker Brian Urlacher (hamstring) also missed practice, but his absence doesn't come as a surprise because he's expected to miss the remainder of the regular season. Backup running back Michael Bush (ribs) sat out of Thursday's session along with rookie defensive end Shea McClellin (knee), and defensive tackle Henry Melton, who was excused from the workout for personal reasons, according to coach Lovie Smith.
"We have a lot of other players, about five or six that were injured today that were able to do a small amount," Smith said.
That group of limited participants included linebacker Lance Briggs (knee/hip), quarterback Jay Cutler (neck/knee), tight end Kellen Davis (knee), linebacker Geno Hayes (knee), offensive tackle Jonathan Scott (shoulder) and defensive tackle Matt Toeaina (knee).
The Packers held out receiver Jordy Nelson (hamstring) on Thursday along with running back James Starks (knee) and defensive end C.J. Wilson (knee). Receiver Donald Driver (thumb) participated in a limited capacity, as did linebackers Terrell Manning (shoulder) and Clay Matthews (hamstring), offensive lineman T.J. Lang (ankle), safety Jerron McMillian (back) and defensive end Mike Neal (shoulder).
The Bears returned to practice without five players, including Bennett and Jennings.