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NFC North at night

Checking in on some news tidbits around the NFC North:

Chicago Bears: Defensive end Julius Peppers (knee) and receiver Devin Hester (knee) didn't practice Thursday, but coach Lovie Smith indicated both should be ready for Sunday's game at Soldier Field.

Detroit Lions: We've already taken you through the kicking situation. One technical note: Punter Ryan Donahue (quadriceps) was a partial participant in practice because he worked as the holder for place-kicker Jason Hanson.

Green Bay Packers: Defensive lineman Mike Neal practiced for the first time since training camp and subsequent knee surgery. He was officially a limited participant, but coach Mike McCarthy said initial reports were positive. It's hard to imagine Neal getting into the conversation for Monday night's game at Lambeau Field, but it was an important first step. Linebacker Clay Matthews didn't practice because of a knee injury, but he is fully expected to play Monday night.

Minnesota Vikings: Right guard Anthony Herrera (knee) did not practice and isn't expected to be ready for Monday night's game. Joe Berger will probably start a second consecutive game in his place. Cornerback Antoine Winfield (neck) had full participation in practice and will play Monday night.