Bishop Ready To Tackle Chicago

After missing the last three games, Desmond Bishop appears ready to regain his spot in the starting lineup. That and more from Thursday.

Barring a setback, Desmond Bishop appears on course to rejoin the starting lineup at inside linebacker on Sunday when the Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears.

"I made a big jump," Bishop, who had missed the past three games with an injured calf, said after Thursday's practice. "Last week, I was a little sore, I still felt it a little bit. But this week, I don't feel nothing at all. I've opened up, made some cuts, did everything pain-free. I'm feeling good."

Bishop almost was a full participant at Thursday's practice, according to coach Mike McCarthy. Depending on how he feels on Friday and again after that practice, he should be ready for what figures to be a physical, run-first affair against a Chicago offense down to its third quarterback.

That kind of game is right up the physical Bishop's alley.

"I think so," Bishop said. "It's hard to just say if they want to come run the ball it's a Desmond Bishop game. I think no matter what they want to do, it's a Desmond Bishop game. That's how I want  to approach it. I think it's definitely more fun if they want to come in and run the ball. I mean, smashmouth football at its finest."

Even while missing games against the Giants, Raiders and Chiefs, Bishop leads the team in tackles with 119, 26 more than Morgan Burnett.

Defensive line hurting, too

The offensive line has been hit hard by injuries, and now the defensive line is hobbled, too.

Defensive end Howard Green was added to the injury report, joining Mike Neal (shoulder) and Ryan Pickett (concussion).

Pickett hasn't stepped on the practice field since suffering a concussion against Oakland on Dec. 11. For the first time, Pickett took part in meetings, so that's an encouraging sign.

Green was added because of a sore foot, though McCarthy said the team was just being "cautious." Neal said Wednesday than an MRI checked out fine.

Packers injury report

Out: RT Bryan Bulaga (knee), WR Greg Jennings (knee). Did not participate: DE Ryan Pickett (concussion). Limited: LB Desmond Bishop (calf); LT Chad Clifton (hamstring/back); DE Howard Green (foot); DE Mike Neal (shoulder). Full: RB Brandon Saine (concussion), RB James Starks (ankle/knee).

Clifton continues to "progress," McCarthy said, though not to an extent that he's taken any 11-on-11 snaps.

"He looked pretty good out there," offensive line coach James Campen said. "His movements look good and he went through all the individual stuff. I don't know what they have in store for him moving forward but he looked good."

Bears injury report

Did not participate: RB Marion Barber (calf); LB Lance Briggs (ankle); QB Jay Cutler (right thumb); RB Matt Forte (knee); WR Devin Hester (ankle). Limited: TE Kellen Davis (back); DT Henry Melton (shin).

Julius Peppers, who did not practice on Wednesday, was removed from the injury report. Davis and Melton progressed to limited. Hester didn't practice again, though the Packers expect the dangerous returner and receiver to give it a go on Sunday.

Four-point stance

— McCarthy, on the progress of offensive lineman Herb Taylor, who was signed on Tuesday: "He's doing OK. We had a red zone period today, new cadence, crowd noise, he had a play there he didn't do OK. But he looks good."

— For the second consecutive week, McCarthy kept the pads off his players. The new collective bargaining agreement limits teams to three padded practices over the final five weeks. McCarthy has one left, which can be used next week against Detroit.

— Before Sunday's kickoff, NBC will air a 15-minute look at the nine-decades Packers-Bears series, called "Rivalry in the Heartland." It will feature interviews with current and former star players and coaches, including Aaron Rodgers, Brian Urlacher, Paul Hornung, Jim McMahon, Mike Ditka, Donald Driver, Lovie Smith, Willie Davis and a number of fans of both teams.


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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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