Packers Notebook - Players Add Their Votes

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While online fan voting for the Pro Bowl wrapped up Friday, Packers players took their turn filling out their ballots for the NFL's annual All-Star Game Monday in their Lambeau Field meeting rooms.

The AFC and NFC All-Star squads are made up of the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group's vote counts one-third towards determining the 43-man rosters that represent the American Football Conference and National Football Conference in the Pro Bowl.

The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its all-star teams. It was the first professional sports league to offer online all-star voting in 1995.

The results of the fan voting were announced Monday, with Robert Ferguson and William Henderson holding an inside track to receiving their first selections for the game to be held in Honolulu the week after Super Bowl XXXIX.

Ferguson was the fans' choice as the leading vote-getter as the designated special teams player and Henderson led all NFC fullbacks with over 200,000 votes received.

The NFL will announce the rosters for both Pro Bowl squads Wednesday.

Help Wanted

With Robert Ferguson likely out for Friday's upcoming NFC North Division-deciding game against the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman was asked Monday about potential additions to the depth chart to fill out his four wide receiver positions.

"There's a few options that I've investigated already," Sherman said in his mid-day press conference. "We'll entertain a couple of those this afternoon."

One option that will not be available to Sherman is Kelvin Kight. Kight was called up from the practice squad and filled in for Ferguson earlier this season when Ferguson missed the team's October game against the Detroit Lions with a calf strain.

Kight, a rookie wideout who came to the Packers in training camp after being waived by the St. Louis Rams, had subsequently returned to the practice squad, but placed on the Practice Squad/Injured list last week after suffering a quadriceps strain.

Packers' Practice Plans Altered By Short Week

With the short turnaround in between a Sunday afternoon game and another just five days later on Friday, the Green Bay Packers will be working with an abbreviated practice schedule leading up to their all-important clash with the Vikings.

Players, who customarily receive Tuesdays off, will be back on the practice field Tuesday getting ready to head to Minnesota.

"Practice will be adjusted significantly because of the timeframe that we're in to play this ballgame," Sherman said. "It's not quite as challenging as the Thanksgiving Day game, but it's still challenging without question.

"Tomorrow, we'll have our walkthrough and practice in the afternoon will be extremely modified. The speed of practice will be toned down a little bit. We'll get them back and have another walkthrough on Wednesday morning and then pick up the pace on Wednesday afternoon and then the mock game on Thursday. But it will be fairly modified in order to gain our strength and freshness for the game."

Penalty Frustration Mounting

After seeing his team get flagged for more than 90 yards in penalties for the third consecutive game, Sherman wasn't buying any argument that his defensive backs may have used in the locker room following Sunday's game against Jacksonville.

"I don't think it's a valid argument," the coach said when told that some members of the Green Bay secondary had brought up the issue of inconsistency of different officiating crews from week to week. "They know what they can't do. It's been well-explained to them by us and also by the flags laying on the ground. They can't make contact downfield - that's it.

"Some crews may be a little more lenient, some a little more diligent in regard to throwing the flag, but we're not in a position to allow for any of that to happen, so don't make that contact downfield."

In an effort to curtail the number of fouls called against his team, Sherman said officials will return to the Packers' practice field this week to enforce enfractions.

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