Wednesday, December 14, 2011
NFC North at night
By Kevin Seifert
Taking a look at Wednesday's newsbits in the NFC North:
Chicago Bears: Defensive lineman Henry Melton (shin) didn't practice. Safety Major Wright (shoulder) was limited. Meanwhile, quarterback Jay Cutler (thumb) told ESPN 1000 that there is an "outside" chance he will be ready to play in the Bears' Week 16 game at the Green Bay Packers. But Cutler admitted he didn't think it was a "good or definite or a real possibility."
Detroit Lions: Cornerback Chris Houston participated in a portion of practice Wednesday for the first time since spraining his knee Nov. 24. The Lions are hopeful of getting him back in the lineup in time for Sunday's game at the Oakland Raiders. But safety Louis Delmas (knee) remained sidelined, as did running back Kevin Smith (ankle) and linebacker Justin Durant (hamstring). Cornerback Aaron Berry (shoulder) did not practice. Defensive tackle Nick Fairley (foot) was a limited participant.
Green Bay Packers: Guard Josh Sitton (knee) returned to practice and linebacker A.J. Hawk (calf) was a full participant. But left tackle Chad Clifton (hamstring) did not practice and has already been declared out for Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Linebacker Desmond Bishop (calf), running back James Starks (ankle), defensive end Ryan Pickett (concussion) and running back Brandon Saine (concussion) all sat out practice. Meanwhile, new Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said that quarterback Kyle Orton will start Sunday if healthy. Orton has already started once against the Packers this season, a 49-23 loss while playing for the Denver Broncos in Week 4. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he would be the first quarterback to start two games against the same opponent for two different teams in 13 years. Kerry Collins started against the Atlanta Falcons as a member of the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints in 1998.
Minnesota Vikings: Quarterback Christian Ponder (hip) was a full participant in practice and is expected to start Sunday against the Saints. Tailback Adrian Peterson (ankle) practiced on a limited basis and could be on track to return after a three-game absence. Receiver Greg Camarillo (concussion) was the only player who missed practice Wednesday.