Packers tight end Jermichael Finley told Fox Sports Wisconsin that the Bears' defense might be better off without injured middle linebacker Brian Urlacher.
"He's an idiot," Bears seven-time Pro Bowl weak-side linebacker Lance Briggs said of Finley. "Just suit up and play ball. His comments aren't going to change the outcome of the game. They're not going to help him or anybody play better. So it doesn't really matter."
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According to Finley: "Urlacher is at the end of his career right now. He's playing a little slow out there. I don't think they're losing too much if he's out. Putting another guy in might help them a little."
Urlacher, an eight-time Pro Bowl pick who will miss his second straight game Sunday with a pulled hamstring, responded Wednesday, when he was a guest on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
"If he thinks that, that's fine," Urlacher told hosts Jim Miller, the former Bears quarterback, and Pat Kirwan. "Just like a couple of years ago, he tore his ACL, and the Packers were actually better without him. They won the Super Bowl.
"I hope we can duplicate that as well because it won't hurt my feelings if we go on and win the Super Bowl without me like they did without him. People can say what they want. It feels like I deal with something like this every year. Someone's always saying something about me."
Nick Roach has moved over from strong-side linebacker to take Urlacher's place with Geno Hayes moving in on the strong side.
Last week, starting left guard Edwin Williams was benched in the second half in favor of undrafted rookie James Brown.
Williams was filling in for injured Chris Spencer (knee), who took over when Chilo Rachal was benched. Rachal started eight straight games after Spencer was benched following the first two games of the season.
Spencer is back at practice this week, but the 6-foot-4, 306-pound Brown could remain in the lineup.
"We like James," said Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice. "He's a big guy. When he hits you in the pocket, you stay hit. It's like there is no more movement; you're not pushing the pocket back. He made some mistakes (vs. the Vikings), but that's anticipated. We felt like we would live with those mistakes as long as they were not bucketfuls of them. Most of his mistakes were technique things that he'll get better at each time he does it.
"So, yeah, I do anticipate James being in the mix this week."
Quarterback Jay Cutler (neck/knee) practiced Thursday, but he was limited, as were linebackers Lance Briggs (knee/hip) and Geno Hayes (knee), offensive tackle Jonathan Scott (shoulder), tight end Kellen Davis (knee) and defensive tackle Matt Toeaina (knee).
Six other players did not practice, including linebacker Brian Urlacher (hamstring), cornerback Tim Jennings (shoulder), defensive tackle Henry Melton (chest), wide receiver Earl Bennett (concussion), defensive end Shea McClellin (knee) and running back Michael Bush (ribs).
Cornerback Charles Tillman (shoulder), defensive tackle Stephen Paea (foot) and guard Chris Spencer (knee) practiced and were not limited.
For the Packers, wide receiver Jordy Nelson (hamstring) and running back James Starks (knee) did not practice.