Skip to main content

Bye Week Allows Packers To Visit Families, Rest Injuries


Like the last day of school before spring break, the Packers players quickly dispersed to cities around the country following Wednesday morning's practice.

"That's how bye weeks are," safety Mark Roman said. "We're trying to get out of here as fast as possible."

Although the Packers eagerly quickly departed for their four-day respite, they enjoyed a crisp Wednesday practice, their third and final session of the week. Their minds remained focused on football as the team worked on 4th down and end-of-game situations in preparation of their next game against the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 23.

"We got a lot done today," head coach Sherman said.

For the next few days many of the Packers will spend time with their families or visit their hometown before returning to meetings and practice on Monday, Oct. 17.

Defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, who lives in Oneida, Wis., will occupy the time with his one and two-year-old sons, Abdul-Rashid Olatunji, and Muhammad-Ali Bolatito.

"Just hang out with the little guys," Gbaja-Bimaila said. "All they care about is Daddy's home."

Cornerback Al Harris will return to Coral Springs, Fla. Defensive tackles Cullen Jenkins and Corey Williams plan to fish in Ypsilanti, Mich. and Camden, Ark., respectively. Safety Earl Little will head to Miami to see his family and also rehabilitate his sore hamstring at the University of Miami, where he attended school.

"Right now for me, it's all about all palm trees, family and some beautiful sun," he said. "I can spend some time with my family and sleep in my bed, have some nice home-cooked meals."

Little will be one of several Packers working to regain their health. Three players who made the Pro Bowl in 2003, tight end Bubba Franks (knee), running back Ahman Green (knee/quadriceps) and center Mike Flanagan (hernia), missed Sunday's game and hope to return against the Vikings. Sherman listed each as questionable.

With right tackle Mark Tauscher (foot) and left tackle Chad Clifton (ankle) also ailing, having the open date occur during Week Six may prove fortuitous.

"The bye has come at an appropriate time. This is certainly a time we need it," Sherman said. "It allows us an opportunity to get guys back."

The timing of the bye week also follows the Packers 52-3 victory against the New Orleans Saints, the team's first victory, allowing the player to feel better about themselves.

"It helps with the mentality of the locker room," Harris said.

And now they can hold their heads high.

"I can finally go to my hometown now," Williams said. "If we had lost, I wouldn't have been able to."

With the players set to experience several days of down time, Sherman gathered his players after Wednesday's practice, reminding them to conduct themselves in a manner befitting the Packers football club.

"The decisions that they make in their personal life reflect their professional life," Sherman said. "They reflect us as an organization."

While Sherman delivered that speech, he expressed confidence in his players. He said he gives the same speech to his children before they go out on a Friday night.

"We've got good kids. I have very few problems with these guys," Sherman said. "They don't cause me any angst whatsoever. They do what they're supposed to do."

For the first time since July, the coaching staff also will receive a weekend off.

"What do you think I have them locked to their desk?" Sherman said. "They deserved it. They worked real hard."

When the Packers return for meetings and practice on Monday, Oct. 7, they should come back refreshed and ready to put in the long hours for the final 11 weeks of the season.

But for four days they can concentrate on their loved ones instead of football.

"The bye week is always good," Gbaja-Biamila said. "It's just a time to relax."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.