Marion Barber, Chris Harris sit out

Updated: September 15, 2011, 11:55 PM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Marion Barber's recovery from a calf injury hit a speed bump on Thursday.

One day after returning to the practice field in a limited fashion for the first time since hurting his calf on Aug. 27 in Nashville, Barber was held out of Thursday's practice, which raised questions about his availability for Week 2 in New Orleans.

"Marion Barber, he was able to practice yesterday, still had soreness, so we didn't practice him today," Bears coach Lovie Smith said.

It was later decided though, that Barber would miss his second consecutive game with a calf strain, the Chicago Tribue reported, citing a league source.

Just as concerning to Chicago, veteran safety Chris Harris missed practice for the second consecutive day because of a hamstring, which means Brandon Meriweather and Major Wright again took first-team reps in practice. That would be the Bears starting safety combination in the event Harris is unable to face the Saints.

Harris is expected to be a game-time decision, according to an NFL source.

Receiver Roy Williams (groin) also sat out Thursday and is questionable at best to play this weekend.

Linebacker Lance Briggs (knee) and cornerback Zack Bowman (hamstring) both had full participation after being limited on Wednesday.

Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He is also a talk-show host on ESPN 1000 and the ESPN Radio network.

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