GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) _ Eleven months ago Sunday, Brian Williams' 1999 season ended when he tore a knee tendon while making a tackle against Seattle.

Two surgeries and a lot of rehabilitation later, the Green Bay Packers' top linebacker is expected to return to the field when the Packers play the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

Coach Mike Sherman said it's not known how much playing time Williams will get.

One determining factor will be the way the knee responds to the full day of practice he had Wednesday.

``He got a pretty good load of work,'' defensive coordinator Ed Donatell said. ``He looked fine. I'm getting excited.''

Williams' replacement, Nate Wayne, has performed well through four games. After making 16 tackles in the opener against the New York Jets, Wayne is second on the Packers with 34 tackles.

Wayne, however, suffered a hip pointer against the Cardinals and didn't practice Wednesday.

He might be limited Sunday, which could increase Williams' playing time, although the Packers don't want to force Williams into more playing time than he's ready for.

``Nate Wayne's done a fine job for us,'' Sherman said. ``There is no need for us to rush Brian back. He will play in this ball game, but to what capacity remains to be seen.''