One day removed from seeing wide receiver Robert Ferguson knocked out of Sunday's game by a vicious and illegal hit by Jacksonville safety Donovin Darius, Packers' GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman addressed the media and updated everyone on the status of Ferguson's health.
Sherman said that the receiver had regained movement in his lower extremities, something he did not have as he was carted from the playing surface at Lambeau Field late in the game. Ferguson spent Sunday night in a Green Bay hospital and Sherman stated that he would remain there again Monday before likely being released Tuesday morning.
The coach visited Ferguson Sunday night and said the receiver seemed to be in good spirits.
"He said he'd be back at practice on Wednesday, which is typical of Robert Ferguson," Sherman said. "His wife was there - he was in the MRI machine, which is tough because he had to be in there for about 45 minutes to an hour. They took him out and we visited a little bit."
Sherman was especially impressed with the courage Ferguson showed as he was being wheeled from the field.
"He's just a great kid," said the coach. "For him to put a thumbs-up to the crowd on the way off the field knowing that he couldn't move his toes, I don't know - special guy."
When asked about a timetable for Ferguson's return to action, Sherman said it would most likely be a few more days before the doctors and training staff could give an accurate estimation.
"(The doctor) gave no indication that it's career-threatening, but I don't know if you can make that evaluation less than 24 hours out of that type of injury," said Sherman. "All signs indicate that he's going to be fine. He does have some back pain, did have some headaches last night, but I don't think you really can tell until two or three days out. I would definitely rule him out for practice on Wednesday and playing on (Friday)."
Sherman likened Ferguson's injury to the one sustained by fellow receiver Donald Driver in 2003's season opener. Driver missed one game after suffering a severe neck sprain as he landed headfirst on the ground in an attempt to make a leaping catch.
As far as Sunday's hit was concerned, Sherman wasn't backing away from his post-game statement that he felt Darius delivered a cheap shot on a defenseless player. The coach added Monday that he's sure the league will take appropriate disciplinary measures against the Jaguars' defensive back, who was ejected from the game for the hit.
"I made my evaluation last night when you asked me," said Sherman. "I haven't changed that.
"I'm sure the league will handle it as they do all of these situations. They're pretty diligent when it comes to player safety, so I'll just wait and see what happens and then we'll go from there."
Sherman said that it's the responsibility of NFL players to play at a high level, but not to put fellow athletes in danger.
"I really and truthfully believe that in this league there's a responsibility of players to play the game as hard and as physical as they can because that's what they're paid to do, but at the same time be wise enough to protect each other. I've voiced that message a number of times to our players."
The catch that Ferguson was injured making was his 24th of the season, giving the fourth-year pro 367 receiving yards on the year.