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Packers Notebook - Positive News On The Injury Front


Defensive tackle Kenny Peterson, who has been out of action since suffering an ankle injury in the preseason finale at Tennessee September 3, returned to practice this week.

GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said Peterson progressed well and is a good possibility to bolster the depleted ranks on the interior of the defensive line.

"Kenny had a good week of practice," Sherman said Friday. "He looked like he looked before he got hurt. I was a little concerned that he wouldn't be able to pick up from the conditioning standpoint and also from a quickness standpoint. He was a little rusty on Wednesday, but on Thursday he looked really good. Today, I thought he looked even better, so I'm excited to get him back."

Peterson is anxious to get back on the field and do what he can, especially in the absence of Grady Jackson and James Lee.

"I'm a competitor," said the second-year man from Ohio State. "I don't like to be a spectator, so I'm anxious to get back out there and see what I can do."

He also didn't figure to be out of place on the field following the three-week layoff.

"It's just like riding a bike. Once you do it, you never forget."

Practice Moved Inside

In preparation to play indoors Sunday at Indianapolis' RCA Dome, Sherman moved the team's full of week of practices inside the Don Hutson Center.

On Friday, the staff added another factor to the mix, employing the Hutson Center's sound system to simulate crowd noise at a deafening level.

Wide receiver Javon Walker thinks the training ground simulation will benefit the Packers on the road this weekend.

"It helps with the noise," Walker said. "Sometimes we might have a lot of mistakes with offsides, but regardless, as a receiver you have to watch the ball. It helps us get the loudness in our ears, and helps us focus in on the quarterback more, seeing the signals that he'll give us."

With the playing surface inside the Hutson Center being comprised of FieldTurf, the team wasn't able to fully simulate the RCA Dome experience. While many teams' stadiums have an artificial surface, the Colts' home field is one of only two in the NFL that still uses Astroturf.

While he may not look forward to seeing his players in action on the unforgiving green carpet, Sherman said earlier in the week that he has more pressing issues on his mind.

"I have so many concerns that I haven't worried about the Astroturf, Sherman said. "There's nothing I can do about the Astroturf. If I call over there, they're not going to change it. It is what it is, so I don't worry about that. I'd rather play on FieldTurf like we have here, but that's not the case."

Favre, Manning No Strangers

Although Brett Favre and Peyton Manning have met just once in an NFL game (Favre's Packers defeated Manning's Colts 28-26 at Lambeau Field in 2000), the two likely future Hall of Famers are certainly no strangers away from the gridiron.

Growing up in Mississippi, Favre's favorite quarterback was Peyton's dad, Archie Manning, who was the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. A relationship with Archie led to Favre lending a helping hand to Peyton when the younger Manning was a college star at the University of Tennessee.

"I can remember (talking to) Archie a long time ago, when Peyton was maybe a sophomore," Favre recalled earlier this week. "His dad had called me after a tough loss to Florida and asked me if I could call him and cheer him up. I remember talking to Peyton - of course I never played in a game of that magnitude in college - but just trying to offer him a little advice. I just remember how mature he seemed. I'm sure he was down, but he handled himself well."

Manning recalled another meeting the two had later in his college days.

"He came down to Knoxville when I was in college and we took a picture together and got to spend a little time together," said Manning. "We played golf, which was something - heck I'm a junior in college and here comes Brett Favre to Knoxville, Tennessee and goes out to dinner with us, spends a little time with us. It was certainly a great thrill for me and my family."

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