NFC North: Atari Bigby

Super XLV: Where are they now?

February, 6, 2014
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Exactly three years ago -- on Feb. 6, 2011 -- the Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XLV.

Since then, much has happened to the 53 players who were on the roster for that 31-25 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Arlington, Texas.

Free agency, injuries, retirement and declining performance cause roster turnover.

Still, it’s eye-opening that from the group that suited up for the Packers’ last championship, only 12 players (just 22.6 percent) remain under contract with the team for 2014. Another 11 are still officially members of the Packers, but have contracts that expire next month. There are 13 players with other NFL teams, and 17 are out of football -- perhaps for good.

Here’s a look at the status of every player who was on the active roster three years ago today at Super Bowl XLV:

Under contract for 2014

  • [+] EnlargeAaron Rodgers
    Wesley Hitt/Getty ImagesThree years after being named MVP of Super Bowl XLV, Aaron Rodgers is still leading the Packers.
    QB Aaron Rodgers: Threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns on the way to winning the Super Bowl XLV MVP, then won the NFL MVP award the next season. Signed a five-year, $110 million contract extension last April.
  • G Josh Sitton: Started Super Bowl XLV at right guard, but moved to left guard in 2013 and was a second-team, All-Pro selection. Signed a five-year contract extension on Sept. 2, 2011 that averages $6.75 million per season.
  • T Bryan Bulaga: Started at right tackle, but moved to left tackle last offseason. A training camp knee injury ended his 2013 season, and he now enters the final year of his rookie contract.
  • G: T.J. Lang: Served as a backup, but became the starting left guard the next season. Signed a four-year contract extension on Aug. 14, 2012 that averages $5.2 million per season. Moved to right guard last season.
  • WR Jordy Nelson: Caught nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl, and went on to post 1,000-yard receiving seasons in two of the next three years. Entering the final year of his contract in 2014.
  • OLB Clay Matthews: Forced a fumble in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl that the Packers recovered and turned into a touchdown to pad the lead. Four-time Pro Bowler signed a five-year, $66 million contract extension last April.
  • LB A.J. Hawk: Started and made seven tackles in the Super Bowl. Was released two months later, only to re-sign a more salary-cap friendly deal. Is under contract through 2015.
  • CB Tramon Williams: Broke up three passes in the Super Bowl, including the one that sealed the game on fourth-and-5 from the Steelers’ 33-yard line in the final minute. Entering the final year of his contract. Scheduled to make $7.5 million in 2014, and could be a candidate to be released or restructured despite a strong finish to last season.
  • K Mason Crosby: Made a 23-yard field goal in the game and signed a five-year, $14.75 million contract on July 29, 2011. Struggled in 2012, but bounced back last year to post his best season.
  • P Tim Masthay: Capped his first season with the Packers by averaging 40.5 yards and allowing the Steelers just 5 yards on punt returns in the game. Signed a four-year, $5.465 million contract extension on July 26, 2012.
  • LS Brett Goode: Has been the long snapper since 2008 and signed a three-year, $2.715 million contract extension on Oct. 13, 2012.
  • CB Jarrett Bush: Special teams player who was pressed into defensive duty in the game after injuries to Sam Shields and Charles Woodson, and intercepted a Ben Roethlisberger pass in the second quarter. Signed a three-year, $5.25 million contract on March 26, 2012.
Headed for free agency next month

  • RB James Starks: Started the Super Bowl and rushed for 52 yards on 11 carries. Battled injuries most of his career, and might not be re-signed.
  • WR James Jones: Caught five passes for 50 yards in the game, and signed a three-year, $9.6 million contract on Aug. 2, 2011. Caught 59 passes for a career-high 817 yards in 2013, and could be a re-signed despite his age (will turn 30 next month).
  • DT Ryan Pickett: Started the game, made two tackles and was in on the play in which Matthews forced Rashard Mendehall's fourth-quarter fumble. Played in all 16 games last season with a base salary of $5.4 million, but might be at the age (34) where the Packers let him walk.
  • DT B.J. Raji: Capped a strong 2010 postseason with a pair of tackles in the game. Finished his rookie contract in 2013, and reportedly turned down an $8 million-per-year offer last season.
  • DE C.J. Wilson: Started the game, but played only 14 snaps. Biggest impact came the night before the game, when he kept things loose in the team hotel by playing piano and leading a team sign-along. Finished his rookie contract in 2013.
  • FB John Kuhn: Played on both offense and special teams in the game. Signed a three-year, $7.5 million contract on Aug. 1, 2011.
  • CB Sam Shields: Suffered a shoulder injury in the second quarter of the game. Had his best season in 2013 while playing under the restricted free agent tender of $2.023 million. Will command a big contract either from the Packers or another team in free agency.
  • LB Robert Francois: Went back and forth from the practice squad to the active roster throughout the 2010 season, and played on special teams in the game. Played last season under a one-year, $725,000 deal, but tore his Achilles tendon on Oct. 6.
  • TE Andrew Quarless: Caught one pass for 5 yards in the game. Suffered a major knee injury the next season and missed all of 2012. Returned last season to catch 32 passes for 312 yards (both career highs) in the final year of his rookie deal.
  • QB Matt Flynn: Served as Rodgers’ backup but did not play in the Super Bowl. Left after the 2011 season as a free agent, and after stints with Seattle, Oakland and Buffalo, he returned to the Packers last season for a one-year minimum deal and played in five games after Rodgers broke his collarbone.
  • C Evan Dietrich-Smith: Was inactive for the Super Bowl. Became a starter late in 2012 and for all of 2013, when he played under the restricted free agent tender of $1.323 million deal.
With other teams

  • [+] EnlargeMcCarthy
    Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsCoach Mike McCarthy and the Packers have seen a lot of roster turnover since winning Super Bowl XLV.
    WR Greg Jennings: Started and became just the third player in team history to catch multiple touchdowns in a Super Bowl by recording touchdowns of 21 and 8 yards. Signed a five-year, $45 million contract with the Vikings last March.
  • G Daryn Colledge: Started at left guard, but left in free agency a few months later to sign a five-year, $27.5 million contract with the Cardinals. Has started every game for the Cardinals since.
  • C Scott Wells: Started at center and remained with the Packers through the 2011 season before signing a four-year, $24 million contract with the Rams. Has missed 13 games over the past two seasons because of injuries.
  • LB Desmond Bishop: Became a starter earlier in 2010 after Nick Barnett's wrist injury and made nine tackles in the Super Bowl. Also recovered the fumble that Matthews forced. Signed a four-year, $19 million contract in 2011, but was released after missing the entire 2012 season because of a hamstring injury. Signed with the Vikings last offseason, but appeared in only four games.
  • OLB Frank Zombo: Started the game and had the Packers’ only sack of Roethlisberger but battled injuries the next two years and was released. Signed with the Chiefs last year and appeared in all 16 games.
  • CB Charles Woodson: Started at cornerback, but broke his collarbone late in the second quarter and missed the remainder of the game. Played two more seasons with the Packers, who released him last year. Returned to his old team, the Raiders, and played in all 16 games last season.
  • DE Cullen Jenkins: Played 36 snaps and had a pair of quarterback pressures. Left in free agency the following year and signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Eagles, who released him after two years. Signed a three-year, $8 million contract with the Giants last season.
  • TE Tom Crabtree: Played on both offense and special teams in the Super Bowl, catching one pass. Left last year to sign with the Buccaneers as an unrestricted free agent, but was limited to seven games because of injuries.
  • CB Josh Gordy: Was inactive for the game, and the next season was signed off the practice squad the by the Rams. Spent the past two seasons with the Colts.
  • G Nick McDonald: Was inactive for the game, like he was for every game that season. Was released in training camp the next year, and spent parts of the next two seasons with the Patriots. Did not play in 2013, but was recently signed by the Chargers.
  • OLB Erik Walden: Was inactive after suffering an ankle injury in the NFC Championship Game. Played the next two seasons before signing a four-year, $16 million contract with the Colts last year.
  • DE: Jarius Wynn: Was active but did not play. Played in Green Bay through 2011, and with the Titans and Chargers before landing with the Cowboys last season.
  • FB Quinn Johnson: Inactive for the game. Was traded to the Titans in 2011. Has played in 24 games for the Titans over the past three years.
Out of football

  • T Chad Clifton: Started at left tackle, but his long career with the Packers ended when they released him after he played in only six games in 2011. Was never signed by another team.
  • WR Donald Driver: Started the game and caught two passes for 28 yards before leaving with an ankle injury in the second quarter. Retired after the 2012 season as the team’s all-time leading receiver.
  • S Nick Collins: Started and made a key early play when he returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Suffered a neck injury in Week 2 of 2011 and hasn’t played since.
  • DT Howard Green: Claimed off waivers earlier that season and started the game. His hit on Roethlisberger led to Collins’ interception return for a touchdown. Returned in 2011 and played in all 16 games, but has not played since.
  • WR Brett Swain: Posted a team-high four special teams tackles. Was released the following season and played briefly with the 49ers. Was cut in training camp last season by the Seahawks.
  • S Atari Bigby: Played on special teams. Signed with the Seahawks the following season and played in 15 games. Played in eight games with the Chargers in 2012, but did not play in 2013.
  • CB Pat Lee: Special teams player who saw action on defense after injuries to Woodson and Shields. Played one more season in Green Bay before splitting time in 2012 between the Lions and Raiders. Did not play in 2013.
  • RB Brandon Jackson: Played as the third-down back, but did not have any carries in the game. Caught one pass for 14 yards. Signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Browns in 2011, but missed all of that season and played in only two games in 2012.
  • FB Korey Hall: Caught one pass for 2 yards and made one special teams tackle in the game. He played in 13 games with the Saints in 2011, and retired after going to camp with the Cardinals in 2012.
  • S Charlie Peprah: Led the Packers with 10 tackles (including nine solo stops). Returned as a starter in 2011, when he had five interceptions, but was released shortly before training camp in 2012. Played in five games for the Cowboys in 2012.
  • LB Diyral Briggs: Made one special teams tackle in the game, but never played in another NFL game.
  • LB Matt Wilhelm: Made two special teams tackles, but seven-year career ended after that game.
  • G Jason Spitz: Played on special teams. Left in free agency the next year and signed a three-year, $4.05 million contract with the Jaguars, who released him in training camp last summer. He signed with the Seahawks, but was released on Oct. 12.
  • TE Donald Lee: Played in the game, but did not have a catch and was released two months later. Played in nine games for the Bengals in 2001.
  • QB Graham Harrell: Inactive for the game. Remained with the Packers until he was released in training camp last summer. Also spent time briefly with the Jets before being released.
  • RB Dimitri Nance: Inactive for the game. Was released by the Packers the following summer and never played in another NFL game.
  • CB Brandon Underwood: Inactive for the game. Was released in 2011. Went to camp with the Raiders in 2012 and Cowboys in 2013, but did not make either team.
AFC South colleague Paul Kuharsky has developed a very 2011 ranking to help us get through the lockout. The Twindex reviews and evaluates what players and others who work for NFL teams are tweeting, ranking them in a fluid top 10 of NFL tweeters.

Our own Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers checked in at No. 2 on Kuharsky's debut list, no doubt buoyed by his use of Twitter to promote "The Belt." Rodgers appeared enthused by the idea and on Thursday tweeted this message to San Diego Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips, who holds the top spot:!/AaronRodgers12/status/73864375240368128
Rodgers is the only NFC North player to crack the list, but I'll do my best to lobby Kukarsky's usually impenetrable mindset for others. Feel free to send your suggestions either to him or me. For those interested, below is a list of verified accounts for NFC North players (and one coach) that I follow. Other prominent players have what appear to be legitimate accounts, but they aren't verified. So for now we'll just play it safe.

Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers
Minnesota Vikings

Packers gameday deactivations

January, 23, 2011
CHICAGO -- We don’t yet have the Chicago Bears’ gameday roster decisions, but the Green Bay Packers were prompt this morning.

Safety Atari Bigby is active and so is offensive lineman Jason Spitz. Cornerback Pat Lee is inactive, meaning he isn’t a candidate to return kickoffs. Here are the rest of the Packers’ deactivations:

Falcons nickelback won't play

January, 15, 2011
ATLANTA -- The most interesting pregame roster maneuver at Georgia Dome left the Atlanta Falcons without their usual nickelback. Brian Williams (knee) was deactivated, and second-year player Chris Owens is expected to handle that role.

It will be interesting to see if Williams' injury compels the Green Bay Packers to use their five-receiver set. They used it 14 times in the teams' Week 12 meeting.

Meanwhile, the Packers deactivated safety Atari Bigby (groin) and fullback Korey Hall (knee). Both had been listed as questionable on the injury report.

Friday injury report: Packers-Falcons

January, 14, 2011
Getting inside the Friday injury report a day before Packers-Falcons:

Green Bay Packers: Linebacker Frank Zombo has been declared out. Safety Atari Bigby (groin) is questionable but has a good chance to be available. Offensive lineman Jason Spitz would have returned to practice Friday if the Packers had held one, and for that reason he is listed as questionable. Fullback Korey Hall (knee) is questionable, but seems to have a decent chance of being available. All other members of the 53-man roster should be available.

Atlanta Falcons: Cornerback Brian Williams (knee) is doubtful. The Falcons listed six players as questionable, but all of them participated in Friday's practice and appear on track to be available Saturday.

NFC North injury report

January, 12, 2011
Updating the injury situations for this weekend’s pair of division playoff games:

Chicago Bears: Cornerback Charles Tillman didn’t practice Wednesday because of an illness. All other players participated in at least a portion of practice.

Seattle Seahawks: Linebacker Lofa Tatupu (concussion) didn't practice and was the only player listed on the Seahawks injury report. Coach Pete Carroll told Chicago-area media that Tatupu is on track to play Sunday.

Green Bay Packers: Two players missed practice Wednesday: Linebacker Frank Zombo (knee) and offensive lineman Jason Spitz (calf). The guess is that neither will be available Saturday night. Safety Atari Bigby (groin) participated on a limited basis and has a chance to play. The Packers don’t seem to have any other significant injury concerns.

Atlanta Falcons: The only player who sat out practice was cornerback Brian Williams (knee). My NFC South colleague Pat Yasinskas suggests that most everyone else on the roster is healthy.
Defensive end Cullen Jenkins has been the Green Bay Packers' big injury question entering Sunday's wild-card playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Jenkins hasn't played in a month because of a strained calf muscle, and on Friday the Packers officially listed him as questionable on their injury report.

But barring a setback over the next 48 hours, it appears Jenkins is going to be ready for at least a limited role Sunday. Despite playing in only 11 games this season, he led Packers defensive linemen with seven sacks during the regular season.

"I'm hopeful that he'll go," coach Mike McCarthy said Friday. "... Everything has been very positive, and if he's ready to go, he will go on Sunday."

The Packers did rule three players out for Sunday: linebacker Frank Zombo (knee), safety Atari Bigby (groin) and fullback Korey Hall (knee). Everyone else on the Packers' 53-man roster should be available to play.

NFC North Friday injury report

December, 31, 2010
Getting inside our final (sniff, sniff) Friday injury report of the 2010 regular season:

Chicago Bears: As usual, the Bears are almost completely healthy. Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee) was removed from the injury report, leaving only receiver Earl Bennett. He is listed as questionable because of an ankle injury. Because the Bears have already locked up a first-round bye, it might be smart to rest Bennett against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

Detroit Lions: Receiver Calvin Johnson (ankle) did not practice all week but is listed as questionable on the injury report for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings. Coach Jim Schwartz indicated Johnson will test out the ankle Sunday morning before a final decision is made. Cornerback Chris Houston (shoulder) is listed as doubtful and seems unlikely to play. All other players should be available for the Lions.

Green Bay Packers: Defensive end Cullen Jenkins (calf) has again been ruled out, but the Packers expect to have nickel back Sam Shields for Sunday's game. Shields (knee) returned to practice Friday, took his normal repetitions and is listed as probable on the injury report. Jenkins joins safety Atari Bigby (groin), linebacker Frank Zombo (knee) and fullback Korey Hall (knee) as players already ruled out of this game. Everyone else should be available for the Packers.

Minnesota Vikings: Quarterback Brett Favre once again didn't practice because of a concussion and is listed as doubtful. But interim coach Leslie Frazier wouldn't say whether Favre has been cleared to play Sunday, raising the possibility that he could make one final start. Take that for what you will. Meanwhile, receiver Sidney Rice (concussion) is also listed as doubtful and almost certainly won't play. Cornerback Asher Allen (abdomen) didn't practice all week but is listed as questionable. If he can't play, the Vikings would have to start either Lito Sheppard or Frank Walker opposite of Antoine Winfield. Safety Madieu Williams (concussion) was placed on injured reserve so the Vikings could promote cornerback Marcus Sherels from the practice squad.

BBAO: Tarkenton still hammering Favre

December, 23, 2010
We're Black and Blue All Over:

Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton returned to Minnesota last Sunday for the Vikings' 50th anniversary celebration. But Tarkenton left town before Monday night's game against the Chicago Bears, skipped an on-field halftime ceremony and clearly still hasn't come to grips with Brett Favre's two-year tenure as the Vikings' quarterback.

During a radio interview on 97.5 FM in Philadelphia, Tarkenton slammed Favre for pushing his way into the lineup Monday night and said Favre has "set the franchise back."
Tarkenton: "It's absolutely selfish. With Brett Favre -- he talks about the team, and I'm for the team and I want to play for my home fans and my teammates. It was "Monday Night Football" last week. He hadn't had enough publicity in the last week. He had been on the bench for two weeks. It's not right. He ought to take himself out of the equation and say 'This is not best for the team.'"

I would agree with that sentiment if Favre had actually leapfrogged a more worthy candidate. I'm not sure if Joe Webb, a rookie whose future could well be at another position, qualified under what was "best for the team" Monday night. But I think we all know where Tarkenton has stood, continues to stand and will forever stand on this issue.

Continuing around the NFC North:
  • Quarterback Rhett Bomar is with the Vikings two years later than he thought he would be, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.
  • Vikings punter Chris Kluwe on getting booed for intentionally kicking the ball out of bounds for most of Monday night's game, via Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune: "The game plan for that was pretty much the epitome of being a team player because I sacrificed my stats to make sure that he didn't return it, and then they boo me. So I was like, 'Sweet, thanks, guys.' But there's a reason why you don't see a lot of punting out of bounds in the NFL. It's so hard to get the ball out of bounds to where you want it to go, especially if you're making sure that it gets out of bounds. I can aim for a spot 40 yards up the field, but there's like a 50-50 chance that it's going to stay in bounds."
  • Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson (knee) still hasn't returned to practice, notes Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
  • Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz on whether he would be interested in another head-coaching job, via Michael C. Wright and Jeff Dickerson of "Sure, if the opportunity were to come up again, who knows? Shoot, I'm 59 years old. I'm very happy with what I'm doing right now, and if that's it for me, I'd be the happiest guy in the world, too."
  • The Bears are a rare team that improved itself by spending premium cash in the offseason, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.
  • Green Bay Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga made a rare mental mistake during the team's final possession last Sunday night at Gillette Stadium, notes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • Sunday's matchup between the Packers and New York Giants is a de facto playoff game, writes Jason Wilde of
  • The 2010 season has been a huge disappointment for Packers safety Atari Bigby, notes Kareem Copeland of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "The Lions have dragged their feet in putting Matthew Stafford on season-ending injured reserve, but coach Jim Schwartz said that reluctance has nothing to do with wanting Stafford to avoid the stigma of going on IR each of his first two years."
  • It appears that Shaun Hill will replace Drew Stanton as the Lions' starting quarterback this week, according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.

NFC North Friday injury report

December, 10, 2010
Getting inside the Friday (non-Brett Favre) injury report:

Chicago Bears: Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee) won't play Sunday against the New England Patriots. Linebacker Nick Roach (hip) is questionable. All other players are expected to be available.

Detroit Lions: Right tackle Gosder Cherilus (knee) is doubtful for Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers and likely will be replaced by Corey Hilliard. Receiver Derrick Williams (ankle) was placed on injured reserve. Linebacker Isaiah Ekejiuba (knee) is questionable, but all other players should be available. (Except quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Shaun Hill.)

Green Bay Packers: The big news is that cornerback Charles Woodson, who sprained his ankle in practice Wednesday, appears fine. He's listed as probable for Sunday's game against the Lions. Left tackle Chad Clifton (concussion) is also probable. Three players were ruled out, to no one's surprise: Fullback Korey Hall (knee), defensive end Cullen Jenkins (calf) and cornerback Pat Lee (ankle). Backup safeties Atari Bigby (hamstring) and Anthony Smith (ankle) are questionable.

Minnesota Vikings: Receiver Percy Harvin is doubtful because of what the Vikings say is a two-week migraine headache. It's a near-certainty that Harvin won't play Sunday against the New York Giants. The Vikings have also ruled out cornerback Chris Cook (knee) and safety Tyrell Johnson (knee). Left guard Steve Hutchinson (thumb) is listed as questionable but interim coach Leslie Frazier said "it's going to be difficult" for Hutchinson to play. Defensive end Ray Edwards (ankle) is listed as questionable and is likely to be a game-time decision.

BBAO: A true Black and Blue weekend

December, 10, 2010
We're Black and Blue All Over:

It looks like we're set for some honest-to-goodness NFC North weather for this weekend's marquee matchup between the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots. Initial weather forecasts are calling for a high of 21 degrees, with winds potentially over 20 miles per hour and a 60 percent chance of snow. Sunday's low in the Chicago area will be 5 degrees.

Michael C. Wright of examines the Bears' history in such games, noting they are 15-5 in the 20 coldest games in team history. But the Patriots are used to playing in cold temperatures themselves. If there is an advantage to be had Sunday, it is more likely to be based on the condition of the Soldier Field turf than the weather.

The field has been re-sodded since the Bears' last home game, but it's hard to imagine the grass has taken much root. It will be sloppy, and it stands to reason the Bears will have a better idea of how to prepare for it than the Patriots. I don't think it will decide the outcome of the game, but it will be something to consider as kickoff approaches.

Continuing around the NFC North:

NFC North Friday injury report

December, 3, 2010
Getting inside the Friday injury report, including less-than-positive updates on a number of prominent players around the division:

Chicago Bears: Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee) won't play Sunday against the Detroit Lions, coach Lovie Smith said. Nick Roach will make his second start in three games. Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune reports Tinoisamoa experienced significant swelling his right knee this week but at this point is not considered a long-term injury situation. All other Bears players should be available.

Detroit Lions: Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (knee) did not practice this week, is listed as doubtful and is not expected to play against the Bears -- a huge loss for a Lions team that is disintegrating from a personnel standpoint. Turk McBride and Lawrence Jackson are expected to play in Vanden Bosch's position, but neither can offer the leadership and tenacity Vanden Bosch has provided all season. The Lions listed right tackle Gosder Cherilus (knee) as questionable, but he practiced Friday and seems likely to play. Other than quarterbacks Matthew Stafford (shoulder) and Shaun Hill (finger), all other players will be available Sunday.

Green Bay Packers: Cornerback Pat Lee (ankle) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers. Safeties Atari Bigby (hamstring) and Anthony Smith (ankle) are listed as doubtful, but not expected to play. All other players should be available.

Minnesota Vikings: Tailback Adrian Peterson (ankle) practiced Friday and seems on track to play in at least some capacity Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Receiver Percy Harvin missed a second consecutive day of practice because of migraine headaches and is listed as questionable. Of all the migraine bouts Harvin has endured in the past two years, only one has kept him from playing in a game. Left guard Steve Hutchinson sat out the entire week of practice to limit impact on his fractured thumb and will be a game-time decision Sunday. Rookie Chris DeGeare would replace him if necessary. Meanwhile, cornerback Chris Cook was ruled out for a second consecutive week because of a knee injury.

Sunday morning roster highlights

November, 28, 2010
ATLANTA -- Here are some highlights of the inactive lists in Atlanta and Washington, D.C.:

NFC North Friday injury report

November, 26, 2010
Getting inside a pretty light Friday injury report:

Chicago Bears: Nada. That's right. The Bears listed no players on their final injury report of the week. Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee) was removed, meaning all 53 players will be available for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The biggest injury question of this game is whether Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel (knee) will be able to play. He is officially listed as questionable but didn't practice all week.

Green Bay Packers: Safety Atari Bigby (hamstring) had already been ruled out. Safety Anthony Smith (ankle) was listed as doubtful, so it's likely the Packers will enter Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons with three healthy safeties. Jarrett Bush would be the primary backup to starters Nick Collins and Charlie Peprah. All other players should be available.

Minnesota Vikings: Receivers Sidney Rice (hip) and Bernard Berrian (groin) are listed as questionable. But interim coach Leslie Frazier said Rice "is going to be fine" for Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins. Berrian's status will be determined Saturday. Cornerback Chris Cook (knee) was added to the injury report and listed as questionable. If he can't play, the Vikings probably would use Frank Walker at nickel and Lito Sheppard in the dime.

Another setback for Atari Bigby

November, 24, 2010
The Green Bay Packers have ruled out safety Atari Bigby for at least one game and perhaps more because of a hamstring injury. That news causes hardly a ripple, however, and speaks to the new world of the Packers' defense.

The Packers are more than satisfied with the play of starter Charlie Peprah. From what I could tell, they had no intention of forcing Bigby into the lineup. After being activated to the 53-man roster earlier this month, Bigby spent two games as a special teams player before injuring the hamstring last Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

The Packers had envisioned Bigby as a long-term starter but he has slowly slid off their radar because of injuries and contract disputes. They opened the season with rookie Morgan Burnett as their starter, and Peprah took over after Burnett suffered a season-ending knee injury. We're a long way from next season, but you would have to consider Peprah and Burnett to be in much higher standing from an organizational perspective.

In the short-term, however, the Packers will have a bit of a crunch at the position. Their only other backup safety is Anthony Smith, who didn't practice Wednesday because of an ankle injury. I would imagine that Jarrett Bush could fill in at safety in a pinch behind Peprah and Nick Collins.