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Notebook: Morency Ready To Rejoin Green In Backfield


It appears as though the Packers will have their 1-2 punch in the offensive backfield back on Sunday.

Running back Vernand Morency, who hasn't played since sustaining a lower back injury on Oct. 29 against Arizona, practiced all week and Head Coach Mike McCarthy confirmed he'll be ready to go on Sunday.

"I'm ready to go," Morency said. "I'm just excited to be out there. Every day it's getting better. We'll talk to the doctors and make sure everything's cool."

That gives the Packers the duo of Ahman Green and Morency to share carries once again. The last time they were on the field together, against Arizona, they each surpassed 100 yards. That was the first time two Green Bay backs eclipsed 100 yards in the same game in more than 20 years.

McCarthy also said he expects to use Morency and Noah Herron on kickoff returns this week. Morency had been the primary kick returner until he got hurt, and then Shaun Bodiford took over. But Bodiford went on injured reserve this week with a broken bone in his lower leg.

Still banged up

Quarterback Brett Favre sustained a slight injury to his groin during practice on Thursday but still went through his normal Friday practice routine. The new injury was added to the injury report, which already included Favre's ankle, but Favre remains listed as probable.

"I talked to him at length today," McCarthy said. "He doesn't think it's a big deal."

Tight end David Martin (questionable, shoulder/quad) returned to practice Friday for the first time this week and is expected to play barring a setback in the 48 hours before kickoff. Cornerback Al Harris (probable, illness) also returned to practice and should be ready to play, while cornerback Will Blackmon (questionable, rib) returned to practice on Friday but was still quite sore.

Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (ankle) was downgraded from probable to questionable and missed practice on Friday, so his status is up in the air. Fullback Brandon Miree (questionable, elbow) practiced but was limited, so McCarthy said it's "wait and see" on him.

"We're a banged up football team," McCarthy said. "We've just got a number of guys sore. I think the next 48 hours will help the guys that are close, and I'm hopeful they all play."

Maybe next year

The three members of the Packers organization on the preliminary list for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 - safety LeRoy Butler, General Manager Ron Wolf and team historian Lee Remmel - did not make the list of 25 semifinalists announced late Thursday by the league.

There were 111 preliminary nominees, which will eventually be whittled down to between three and six inductees, to be announced on Feb. 3, the day before Super Bowl XLI.

Butler, Wolf and Remmel are eligible to appear on the preliminary list again next year.


It's a bird, it's a plane ...

The flyover at the conclusion of the national anthem on Sunday will feature a pair of U.S. Navy E-2C Hawkeye aircrafts, one of which will be piloted by third-string quarterback Ingle Martin's uncle.

Lt. Cmdr. Chris Martin is a Navy pilot and the younger brother of Ingle Martin's father. He specifically flies E-2C Hawkeyes, which are carrier-based warning command and control aircrafts used in essence as airborne radar detectors, able to guide and direct other fighter planes with less radar range. The planes have an 80-foot wingspan and a 24-foot diameter radar disc that looks and spins like a Frisbee on top of the plane.

Each plane requires two pilots and three operators, so Chris Martin will be one of the four pilots for Sunday's flyover.

"He's been in the Navy as long as I can remember," Ingle said. "I think he graduated maybe at the top of his class in flight school down in Pensacola (Fla.). He's done a great job and everyone in our family is real proud of him.

"When I was little he was the guy I messed around with and played with an all that stuff, so it will be really neat to have him here."

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