This is the game everybody has been waiting for. Us Bears fans think it is the time that the Bears prove they can play with the big boys. Bears bashers are thinking this is the time the Bears will fall flat and prove them right. Either way, it should be a good game and much watched.
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Here are some last minute personel notes from the NFC North.
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Offensive linemem Fred Miller and Olin Kreutz, amid constant inquiries about their scuffle that broke Miller's jaw, both practiced Thursday and were upgraded on the injury report. Kreutz (elbow) was removed from the list and Miller (jaw) was upgraded from questionable to probable. The Chicago Tribune reports that both are expected to play on Sunday against the Panthers.
Recovering quarterback Rex Grossman tested his progress while directing the scout team on Thursday, his first non-individual workout since fracturing his left fibula during the preseason. The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that he may be cleared to practice fully as early as next week. Head coach Lovie Smith has already said that rookie Kyle Orton will remain the starter when Grossman returns.
Joey Harrington will be the Lions' starting quarterback this Sunday when the team travels to Dallas for a showdown with the Cowboys, according to ESPN. He took all the snaps during Friday's practice. Jeff Garcia, who is still listed as questionable on the injury report, has been dealing with soreness in his injured leg and may be available for backup duty.
Packers running back Tony Fisher's sore ribs didn't stop him from practicing for a second straight day on Friday, according to the team's website. Fisher, who has missed the last two games because of the ribs, remains listed as questionable on the injury report.
Packers receiver Robert Ferguson re-injured his left knee during practice on Friday and had to be carted off the field, according to the Associated Press. He has missed the last three games because of a torn ligament in the knee that was suffered in week seven's 23-20 loss to the Vikings, who the Packers will play on Monday night.
Packers' tight end David Martin, who is listed as questionable because of a groin injury, was able to practice on Thursday and is hopeful of playing on Monday night against the Vikings. The Packers have not had three healthy tight ends since week two. "It just gives us a lot more depth and a lot more experience," Martin told the Green Bay Press Gazette. "We can go back to doing a lot of the things we were doing in the past. It will help the running game because we have more (options) in the passing game."
Vikings wideout Nate Burleson returned to practice on Friday afternoon after resting his various injuries during Thursday's session, according to ESPN. He is dealing with a sore shoulder, hip, and knee, but is listed as probable on the injury report released Friday.
The Vikings will insert Toniu Fonoti as the starter at left guard for Monday night's game against the Packers. For Fonoti, this will be his first game as a Viking; he was acquired earlier this season from the Chargers and has been recovering from a broken hand. He replaces Chris Liwienski, who had started 75 straight games, but will be deactivated for Monday's game because of poor performance.