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Thursday, December 1, 2011
NFC North at night

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Let's get to Thursday's newsbits in the NFC North, including an eye-opening quote from the defensive coordinator of the next team that will try to knock the Green Bay Packers off their undefeated perch:

Chicago Bears: Cornerback Charles Tillman (knee) and Zack Bowman (groin) were back to full participants in practice. Defensive lineman Anthony Adams (back) did not practice. Receiver/kick returner Devin Hester missed practice for personal reasons.

Detroit Lions: Running back Kevin Smith (ankle) returned to practice on a limited basis, spurring hopes he could play Thursday against the New Orleans Saints. Safety Louis Delmas (knee), cornerback Chris Houston (knee) and cornerback Brandon McDonald (thigh) all missed practice again.

Green Bay Packers: Linebackers A.J. Hawk (calf) and Desmond Bishop (calf) both sat out a second consecutive day of practice. Coach Mike McCarthy said the Packers have given Brad Jones some practice snaps at inside linebacker for depth purposes if Hawk and/or Bishop can't play Sunday against the New York Giants. Meanwhile, Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell told reporters in New York that his players will get after Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Sunday. Fewell, via Mike Garafalo of the Newark Star-Ledger: "[W]e just have to get after his [butt], okay? And if we do that and he scrambles then that's the price he's going to have to pay because we're going to hit him. We're going to hit him."

Minnesota Vikings: Joe Webb will move up to No. 2 quarterback in the wake of Donovan McNabb's departure, a move that will change plans to use Webb more as a receiver over the final five games. Running back Adrian Peterson (ankle) and linebacker E.J. Henderson (shoulder) again missed practice. Peterson told reporters that he hasn't given up hope for playing Sunday against the Denver Broncos. Meanwhile, the Minnesota state government announced it has an unexpected $876 million budget surplus over the next two years. But for those who hope that money could go toward a new Vikings stadium, be advised that the state is legally obligated to use the entire amount to replenish emergency reserve accounts.