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Packers Notebook -- Ferguson Practices


Wide receiver Robert Ferguson took a major step toward suiting up this weekend against the Detroit Lions when he took part in practice Friday.

Playing with knee and ankle sprains sustained in the season opener, Ferguson took part in the entire practice and said he was able to run full speed. He is still listed as questionable on the team's injury report however and GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman called Ferguson a game-time decision.

"We'll see how he recovers," Sherman said. "I'm not going to speculate until I see how he handles (Saturday) and (Sunday)."

With Donald Driver already ruled out with a sprained neck, the Packers would be without both of their starting receivers from Week 1 if Ferguson can't play.

Earlier in the week, the third-year receiver was walking with the assistance of crutches. Friday, he was much improved.

"Little sore, little tender, but other than that pretty good," Ferguson said.

Second-year receiver Javon Walker will start against Detroit in place of Driver, with recently re-signed Antonio Freeman waiting in the wings to take Ferguson's place if necessary.

Starting Over

It's amazing what can happen in 20 months.

Antonio Freeman spent only one season away from the Packers, but it was enough time for a lot of change -- from the faces in the locker room, to the locker room itself.

"If feels good to be back," Freeman said Friday. "It definitely doesn't feel the same.

"It's like you broke up with your girlfriend, but you get back together a year-and-a-half later. You don't know where she's been, she doesn't know where you've been."

After three days back on the practice field, Freeman says the Packers' offense is coming back to him quickly. The bigger question is in regard to his conditioning.

Although Freeman worked out during the offseason, he didn't attend any mini-camps or training camp and hasn't taken a game rep since January, when the Philadelphia Eagles fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship game.

"Anybody can get up and run," Freeman said. "You can run 3 miles, you can run 20 hills, you can do all those types of training things. But until you get out there with the stop-and-go and have a defensive back bearing down on you, it's not the same."

Freeman said he is preparing to play the entire game Sunday. If Robert Ferguson (knee/ankle) is held out, Freeman will get the start in his place.

Making It Count

Amidst the Packers' attempts to bolster their receiving corps in the wake of last Sunday's injuries, Chris Jackson is the 'other guy.'

Virtually ignored in the hype surrounding Antonio Freeman's return, Jackson is looking to make his stint in Green Bay count, no matter how long it lasts.

"The best case scenario is that I'm going to be here for the year," Jackson said. "The worst case scenario is that I'm here for two weeks and go home to California and wait it out again."

Having been cut by the Miami Dolphins near the end of training camp, waiting it out is exactly what Jackson was doing last weekend when the Packers came calling.

Jackson spent the 2002 preseason with the Packers and this week GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said he "hated" cutting him.

Ryan Leaf's prime target while at Washington State, Jackson's NFL career also has included brief stints with Seattle, Tampa Bay and Tennessee. And while he'd like to make it on any NFL roster, Jackson said he'd especially like to stick in Green Bay.

"To play for an organization like this, I think it puts a plus on everything," Jackson said. "I've been to other organizations and nothing ranks anywhere near to this. Playing at Lambeau Field and having an opportunity to catch a ball from Brett Favre, compared to other teams, is a blessing.

"I'm very fortunate to be here."

Walls Ready

Having missed the season opener, veteran tight end Wesley Walls believes he can play this weekend against the Detroit Lions.

Listed as questionable on the team's injury report, Walls said he's done his best to simulate game speed during practices this week and believes his strained hamstring has healed to the point that he can contribute.

"There's not much difference between full speed and three-quarters speed with me," Walls joked.

If he does play Sunday, he'll be back in his old uniform number.

Walls wore number 82 through training camp, but was awarded his familiar 85 after Karsten Bailey was waived Wednesday.

"It's crazy how that worked out, but I got it," Walls said. "It's still not moving as fast as I want it to move, but 85 is moving. It's going to be ready to suit up and get in Lambeau this weekend."

Luchey Questionable

Nick Luchey was added to the injury report Friday with a strained calf, which he suffered in practice Thursday. Luchey practiced Friday but was limited, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said.

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