Williams Returns From Bruised Nerve

Pro Bowl cornerback Tramon Williams hadn't missed a game in his life until last week. Plus, injury reports and more from Friday.

Tramon Williams felt the same thing that fans saw when he walked off the field clenching his injured shoulder during the season-opening game against New Orleans.

"It was a bruised shoulder but it wasn't a bruise to a muscle or anything but it was to the nerve," Williams, the Green Bay Packers' Pro Bowl cornerback, said on Friday. "That's why my shoulder was really shut down. It looked like something more serious when it happened. It's been progressing fine and everything's feeling good."

Williams, who was held out of last week's game at Carolina, had his best day of practice of the week, coach Mike McCarthy said. He is listed as probable for Sunday's game at Chicago.

Until last week, Williams hadn't missed a game since making the Packers' roster in 2007 — 72 games, including playoffs. In fact, Williams said he hadn't missed a game in any sport in his life.

"There's a first time for anything so you might as well get it out of the way," said a smiling Williams, who began playing football when he was 5. "I know there's a bigger picture to it. My pride could have said, ‘Go out and play,' but I'd rather miss one game than miss six or seven. The big picture is for us to make the Super Bowl, and I think me being available would be better for the team.

Williams' return is welcome, considering the Packers' pass defense ranks last in the league and they'll be facing the pass-happy Bears. Without Williams, Carolina rookie Cam Newton threw for 432 yards last week.

Williams, however, is confident that the defense will get things turned around.

"It's hard to watch, especially when things aren't in synch," Williams said "It goes around to the whole defense. It's not just one position, it's the whole defense. We're going to get things in synch. The pass rush is there sometimes the coverage's not there; sometimes the coverage is there but the pass rush is not there. Those are the type of things we've been missing. It's going to click. It's not anything we're worried about right now."

Packers injury report

Out — S Nick Collins (neck); DE Mike Neal (knee); LB Frank Zombo (shoulder). Probable — T Chad Clifton (knee; did not participate); TE Jermichael Finley (ankle; full); RB Alex Green (Achilles; full); CB Davon House (ankle; full); LB Clay Matthews (quad; limited); DE Ryan Pickett (ankle; limited); LB Vic So'oto (back; full); CB Tramon Williams (shoulder; limited); CB Charles Woodson (foot; limited).

McCarthy said there was no reason to believe that any of the injured defensive starters — Matthews, Pickett, Woodson or Williams — would have a setback that would force them to miss the game.

"I went hard on it, just to make sure for the game it can last the whole time," Pickett said. "I'm pretty confident that I'll be all right."

Bears injury report

Out — WR Earl Bennett (chest); T Gabe Carimi (knee). Questionable — RB Marion Barber (calf; full participation); S Chris Harris (hamstring; full); G Lance Louis (ankle; full); WR Roy Williams (groin; full); S Major Wright (head/neck; limited).

Most of the Bears' key players will be available, with Harris looking more likely than Harris among the starting safeties.

Four-point stance

— On Wednesday, McCarthy said Zombo was close to returning. Zombo agreed with that assessment: "Probably the same optimism. It's been five weeks exactly. I'm almost 100 percent. Started working back in in walk-throughs and stuff like that, so should be any time now. ... If it was up to me, I'd be practicing next week. But, it's out of my hands. Functionally, I'm there. They're just nervous that I could get hit there again so they want it to be 100 percent healed up."

— While So'oto is listed as probable, McCarthy hinted he'd be inactive this week. "He hasn't had really a full week of practice. So, I don't know if he's quite ready yet."

— Defensive coordinator Dom Capers, who's in his 26th NFL season, on the Packers-Bears rivalry: "You can feel it. I know the five Bears games since I've been here, none have been decided by more than seven points. These games always come down to, like most games in this league, two or three plays and who makes the play and who doesn't."

— On Sept. 29, NFL Network will be airing a new documentary, "Reggie White & Jerome Brown: A Football Life," chronicling the close relationship between the late teammates, the lives they touched and the legacies they left behind. Click here for details.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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