NFC North: Lance Long

NFC North Wednesday practice report

December, 5, 2012
Let's wrap up a newsy day in the NFC North:

Chicago Bears: Linebacker Brian Urlacher (hamstring) was officially ruled out of Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings. Four players sat out of practice because of injuries: receiver Earl Bennett (concussion), running back Michael Bush (ribs), cornerback Tim Jennings (shoulder) and nose tackle Stephen Paea (foot). Bennett and Jennings might have a hard time getting back for the Vikings game. Receivers Devin Hester (concussion) and Alshon Jeffery (knee) were limited participants in practice.

Detroit Lions: Offensive lineman Gosder Cherilus (knees), safety Louis Delmas (knee), cornerback Chris Houston (ankle), defensive end Lawrence Jackson (concussion), cornerback Jacob Lacey (foot/Achilles) and defensive tackle Corey Williams (knee) all missed practice. … The Lions signed receiver Lance Long to fill out their 53-man roster.

Green Bay Packers: Offensive lineman T.J. Lang (ankle), linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring), defensive end Mike Neal (shoulder), receiver Jordy Nelson (hamstring), running back James Starks (knee) and defensive end C.J. Wilson (knee) all missed practice. Cornerback Charles Woodson (collarbone) was a limited participant but it's not clear if he'll be ready for Sunday night's game against the Lions.

Minnesota Vikings: Defensive end Jared Allen (shoulder/back) and receiver Percy Harvin (ankle) were the only players who didn't practice. Allen is expected to be ready for Sunday's game against the Bears. … Quarterback Christian Ponder confirmed he got engaged this week to ESPN reporter Samantha Steele. "Obviously, the rumors are true, but we're focused on the Bears this week," he said.
We're Black and Blue All Over:

News that Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best will be cleared for football activities in June was not unexpected but still odd for its timing.

Best has been recovering from two concussions suffered last season. The Lions have maintained optimism about his return while noting it is impossible to project a timetable on his recovery. So general manager Martin Mayhew's announcement means one of two things:

Either Best has already passed the medical tests required for full participation and the Lions are simply waiting until next month to put him on the field. Or, the timing of his progress suggests his recovery will be complete next month. The latter is not quite as definitive.

Ultimately, though, the big-picture news is that it continues to appear likely that Best will be ready when the Lions begin their serious on-field preparations for the 2012 season.

Continuing around the NFC North: