NFC North at night

Wednesdays tend to be busy news days in the NFL, so typically I'll try to wrap up loose ends in a post creatively titled "NFC North at night." And if it's not yet nighttime? Well, it is somewhere.

Chicago Bears: Coach Lovie Smith told reporters that he hopes to have linebacker Brian Urlacher available for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints. Urlacher left the team Tuesday after the death of his mother. ... Running back Marion Barber returned to practice Wednesday, the first time he has been on the field since straining his calf Aug. 27. ... Right guard Lance Louis (ankle) is expected to be replaced by Chris Spencer against the Saints. ... Receiver Roy Williams (groin) and safety Chris Harris (hamstring) didn't practice Wednesday.

Detroit Lions: Receiver Calvin Johnson didn't practice Wednesday because of a sprained ankle but told reporters he would play Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. ... Safety Louis Delmas (hip) also missed practice. His status for Sunday's game has not yet been revealed.

Green Bay Packers: Linebacker Vic So'oto (back) returned to practice on a limited basis. We've already covered coach Mike McCarthy's optimism on cornerback Tramon Williams (shoulder) and his revelation that defensive end Mike Neal had knee surgery Tuesday.

Minnesota Vikings: Defensive end Adrian Awasom (knee) was the only player not to fully participate in practice. Earlier, we circled back on Donovan McNabb's 39-yard debut as the Vikings quarterback.