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Lance Briggs misses another practice

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears tight end Kellen Davis (back) returned to practice Thursday along with defensive tackle Henry Melton (shin), but running back Marion Barber, linebacker Lance Briggs and receiver Devin Hester missed their second consecutive day of preparation for Sunday's matchup with the Green Bay Packers.

"We need to get Barber, Lance Briggs and Devin Hester back out there," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "You know we're going to need every good player we have of course to beat a mighty team like the Packers. We need to get a win in the worst way."

Smith didn't provide an update on running back Matt Forte (knee) and quarterback Jay Cutler (thumb), but said earlier in the week both players "continue to make progress."

Cutler shagged balls at practice and acted as a snapper for quarterbacks Josh McCown, Nathan Enderle and Caleb Hanie during warm-ups. Cutler flipped balls to the quarterbacks with his left (non-throwing) hand, and caught incoming passes with the same hand.

Melton and Davis, meanwhile, worked in a limited capacity for Thursday's session. Melton continues to try to work through a shin infection that landed him on the inactive list for last Sunday's loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Second-year safety Major Wright returned from a sprained shoulder earlier this week, but both Smith and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli indicated Brandon Meriweather could be getting the start opposite veteran Craig Steltz.

"Brandon's got to step up and play really well," Marinelli said.

Packers offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) and receiver Greg Jennings (knee) are out for Sunday's game. The team held out defensive end Ryan Pickett (concussion) for Thursday's workout. Defensive end Mike Neal (shoulder) returned to work in a limited capacity, along with linebacker Desmond Bishop (calf), offensive tackle Chad Clifton (hamstring/back), and nose tackle Howard Green (foot).

Running backs Brandon Saine (concussion) and James Starks (knee/ankle) were listed on the injury report as having participated fully Thursday at practice.

Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.