Chicago running back Marion Barber will have to wait at least one more week before making his debut with the Bears.
The Bears expressed mild optimism that Barber was on the mend after the back returned to limited action in practice Wednesday for the first time since he hurt his left calf during a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.
Coach Lovie Smith said it was too early to say whether or not Barber would be a go for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints, and his hesitance to speak definitively on the matter proved to be the proper course of action.
Barber did not practice Thursday, and citing a league source, the Chicago Tribune reported that Barber would miss his second straight game because of the troubled calf muscle.
The Bears' offense certainly did not miss a beat without Barber in the opener, scoring 30 points in a beatdown of the Atlanta Falcons and getting more than 150 total yards from Matt Forte, but Barber's inability to get on the field has to frustrate both the back and the team after the two agreed to a two-year $5 million deal in July.
Barber rushed for 49 yards on 13 carries and added five receptions for 31 yards in a preseason loss to the New York Giants -- the one preseason game in which he saw extended playing time.