NFC North at night

December, 9, 2009
12/09/09
5:33
PM ET
Chicago Bears: Offensive lineman Orlando Pace (groin) and linebacker Lance Briggs (knee) both returned to practice. ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson suggests the Bears leave Pace on the bench and continue starting Chris Williams at left tackle. I agree. Meanwhile, read Dickerson’s account of a testy exchange between quarterback Jay Cutler and a reporter on the subject of officials.

Detroit Lions: We covered the decision to rest quarterback Matthew Stafford here. Coach Jim Schwartz said Daunte Culpepper will start at Baltimore and that he gave no thought to starting No. 3 quarterback Drew Stanton. “No,” Schwartz said. “Daunte is our backup quarterback. We’ve had no change in our depth chart.”

Green Bay Packers: Coach Mike McCarthy said he is concerned with the availability of four defensive linemen for Sunday’s game against Chicago. Nose tackle Ryan Pickett (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. Fellow linemen Cullen Jenkins (hamstring), Johnny Jolly (knee) and B.J. Raji (ankle) were limited. … Linebacker Nick Barnett (knee) also sat out Wednesday’s practice but isn’t expected to miss Sunday’s game.

Minnesota Vikings: Four key players missed practice Wednesday: Tailback Adrian Peterson (foot/ankle), safety Tyrell Johnson (concussion), receiver Percy Harvin (illness) and right tackle Phil Loadholt (shoulder). Johnson and Loadholt are iffy, at best, for Sunday’s game against Cincinnati. Right guard Anthony Herrera (concussion) returned to practice, meaning backup Artis Hicks could replace Loadholt if necessary.

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NFC NORTH SCOREBOARD

Thursday, 9/4
Sunday, 9/7
Monday, 9/8