The Bears seemingly will enter Sunday night's game in Green Bay as healthy as they've been in several weeks.
Not only is rookie quarterback Justin Fields slated to start after missing the last two games with cracked ribs, but receiver Allen Robinson II and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks both are expected to return after sitting out the last three contests with hamstring and ankle injuries, respectively.
Fields and Robinson were not given designations on Friday's injury report, meaning that they will play. Hicks was listed as questionable, but he practiced without limitations for the first time since hurting his ankle Nov. 8 in Pittsburgh and told reporters he intends to return Sunday night.
"The plan is to get ready to play," Hicks said.
The 10-year NFL veteran conceded that he has had the Packers game circled on his calendar.
"I take rivalry games very seriously," Hicks said. "I think that, back to your earliest memories, playing ball in high school and stuff like that, rivalry games are a big deal and you should take it as that when you're going out there to compete … A coach once told me that if you can't play well against your division opponents, what good are you to the team? And I take that to heart. We're going to play you twice a year, you're going to try to play your best ball."
Hicks described being unable to play due to an injury as "somewhat misery, somewhat very humbling [and] very frustrating."
"Sitting at home and watching your boys play on TV without you, there's no feeling like it," Hicks said. "It's very frustrating. It's tough. What I've broken it down to, though, is that it's a football life. It's part of the journey, some of these hurdles and some of these obstacles. Hopefully, I'll look back and remember all the good instead of the troubling times and the adversity. But I think even then I'll be able to look at them and say, 'That was a football life.'"
Defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. (ribs) is also questionable for Sunday night's game after practicing without restrictions Thursday and Friday.
Running back David Montgomery sat out practice Wednesday with shoulder, groin and glute injuries. After being limited Thursday, he was a full participant Friday and was not given an injury designation.
Others who were removed from the injury report after being unable to practice or limited earlier in the week included running back Damien Williams (calf), outside linebacker Trevis Gipson (illness), defensive tackle Angelo Blackson (knee), linebacker Christian Jones (back), safety Teez Tabor (illness) and kicker Cairo Santos (illness).
Quarterback Andy Dalton (left hand) is doubtful and not expected to be available Sunday night, meaning that fellow veteran Nick Foles likely will serve as Fields' backup. Dalton injured his non-throwing hand in last Sunday's loss to the Cardinals while making a tackle following an interception, but he remained in the game.
"I could tell that he was in pain, but he gutted through it and it was not affecting his game," said coach Matt Nagy. "Guys play through some of those injuries and that was one that he was able to do that."
Dalton isn't expected to be available Sunday night because he has continued to experience pain and swelling that prevented him from practicing this week.
Receiver Marquise Goodwin is also doubtful with a foot injury that kept him from practicing Thursday and Friday.
Mario Edwards Jr.
Cassius Marsh Sr.
The only Bears player ruled out of Sunday night's game is outside linebacker Cassius Marsh Sr., who sustained a knee injury Thursday in practice. The Bears on Friday placed Marsh on injured reserve and promoted veteran outside linebacker Bruce Irvin from the practice squad to the active roster.
Irvin was signed to the practice squad Nov. 19. He was flexed up to the active roster last Saturday and made his Bears debut against the Cardinals, playing 17 snaps on defense and registering one tackle.
Prior to joining the Bears, Irvin had appeared in 121 NFL games with 92 starts in nine seasons with the Seahawks (2012-15, 2020), Raiders (2016-18), Falcons (2018) and Panthers (2019), recording 308 tackles, 52.0 sacks, 64 tackles-for-loss, three interceptions, 16 forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.