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Notebook: Another Running Back Goes Down


After losing running backs Ahman Green, Najeh Davenport and Tony Fisher to injury, the Packers received another dose of bad luck when Walt Williams suffered a season-ending hamstring strain during Thursday's practice.

The Packers placed Williams on injured reserve on Friday.

The coaching staff hoped that Williams, who they re-signed on Oct. 25 after releasing him at the end of training camp, would serve as the third-down back. Head Coach Mike Sherman said any one of their running backs, including William Henderson, could occupy those duties from now on.

Williams, who felt a pop in his hamstring during Thursday's practice, will undergo an MRI exam on Monday to determine the extent of his injury. The Packers, however, deemed the injury significant enough to have him join Green (quadriceps tendon) and Davenport (ankle) on injured reserve.

Having ended his year on the injured list for the second straight season, the three-year veteran reflected on his career. He earned a Super Bowl ring with the New England Patriots in 2001 and met some great teammates, but injuries to his groin, hand, and now hamstring have shortened his career.

"In the long range scope of things, I feel I was blessed," Williams said. "If it's meant to be, it's gonna be. If it's not, it's not ... Maybe football right now for me and my body is not adding up. It's getting to that point where too many things are happening."


Instant Karma's Going To Get You

The Kansas City Chiefs released Samkon Gado from the practice squad after the first month of the regular season. But with running back Priest Holmes (head and neck trauma) out for the year, the Chiefs could use him now.

"I kind of wonder what would have happened if I had been there," Gado said. "But you never know."

Gado, however, remains glad things worked out the way they did. With the Packers he has already received 27 carries and will earn his first NFL start on Sunday.

"This is where I want to be," he said.

Gado remains close with the Chiefs -- the team that originally signed him as an undrafted free agent. Following Gado's release, Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil called him, encouraging him to continue working out and trying to land on an NFL roster. On Wednesday running backs coach James Saxon and Vermeil both phoned him, congratulating him on his 62-yard rushing performance -- a season-high for the Packers -- against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"From the get-go coach Vermeil has gone out of his way to make me feel welcome," Gado said. "I can't say enough good things about him."

Because they returned to their native country of Nigeria to visit family, Gado's parents, Jeremiah and Grace, will not be able see his son in action this weekend, but Samkon is in the process of recording his games on DVD and will present that to them as a 25th anniversary gift in two or three weeks.

Samkon, himself, could receive a very special gift when he celebrates his 23rd birthday on Sunday.

"Every time I've had a game on my birthday, we've won," he said.


Homecoming Game

An Atlanta native and resident, cornerback Ahmad Carroll has 30 friends and family attending this weekend's Green Bay Packers-Atlanta Falcons game.

"It's always exciting to come home," Carroll said. "People get a chance to see you up close and personal."

Sunday's game will mark Carroll's first Georgia Dome appearance since 2002 when his Arkansas Razorbacks lost to the Georgia Bulldogs 30-3 in the SEC championship game.

A Frederick Douglass High School graduate, he earned Parade All America honors as a senior. He wants to perform well in front of his home crowd, but notching another win for the 1-7 Packers remains his ultimate goal.

"I just want to get a win and hope that we can get this winning streak cranked up," Carroll said.


Quick Hits:

Sherman said linebacker Na'il Diggs (knee) will play on Sunday but probably not start. "How much he plays is dependant upon where he is in regards to his conditioning, which I think is pretty good, and his adaptability to what we're trying to do," he said ... Defensive coordinator Jim Bates praised the performance of fourth-round draft pick Brady Poppinga. "He's made as much progress as any our young players," Bates said. "Every part of his game of has improved, and now he's getting more knowledge of the position."

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