We're Black and Blue All Over:
As the season progresses, keeping injury information straight is becoming a more complicated task. Let's devote some time to catching up and projecting as we await the weekly Friday designation of injured players.
I spent a few moments at the Minnesota Vikings' practice Thursday, where receiver Percy Harvin (ankle) was watching and not participating. At one point, Harvin attempted to jog with receivers to the next drill and was clearly laboring. He might try to give it a go Friday, but it's hard to imagine him playing Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring) again did not practice, making him a longer shot to play Sunday as well. The Chicago Bears ruled out left guard Chris Spencer (knee) and receiver Devin Hester (concussion), but tailback Matt Forte continues to make progress with his ankle via limited practice time. The same goes for linebacker Lance Briggs (ankle).
Finally, the Detroit Lions got left tackle Jeff Backus (hamstring) and safety Louis Delmas (knee) back at practice Thursday. That gives both players a decent chance to play Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
Continuing with local coverage around the NFC North:
Briggs on his status, via Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com: "In my short, little career, I guess I've missed a couple of games. I don't plan on missing this week."
Forte said this ankle injury isn't as serious as the one he suffered earlier this season, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Bears receiver Earl Bennett is ready to step up this week, writes Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.
Packers safety Jerron McMillian denied he took a cheap shot at New York Giants tight end Martellus Bennett, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
It looks like we won't get to see a matchup of Harvin and Packers receiver Randall Cobb, two similar players, on Sunday. Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette has more.
Packers tailback Cedric Benson, who will miss the rest of the season because of a foot injury, was initially hoping to be back for the Dec. 16 game against the Bears, notes Zach Heilprin of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield is in line to make himself a bunch of money, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. Winfield is nearing thresholds that would give him $3 million in incentives this season and leave intact a $7.25 million salary for 2013.
The Vikings will face a huge test trying to stop the Packers' receivers, writes Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson said he missed the team bus before last Sunday's game against the Bears because he overslept, according to the Star Tribune.
Lions defensive end Cliff Avril isn't happy with his season, writes Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.
Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew is working on his problems with ball security, according to Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.
Chris McCosky of the Detroit News thinks that Delmas is on track to play against the Colts.