Training Camp Notebook: Healthy Ferguson Raring To Go

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Ferguson Feeling Fine

After missing two consecutive days of practice with a heart murmur, wide receiver Robert Ferguson participated in Thursday's walk-through and will play against the New England Patriots on Friday.

"We handled it accordingly and took all the tests and everything is fine," Ferguson said.

Ferguson first experienced flutters in chest during high school.

"It's something I've been dealing with all my life," he said.

The No. 3 wide receiver only feels the palpitations while at rest -- not during games.

"As long as I'm out here playing and being active, I'm fine," Ferguson said. "It's never happened when I've been exercising."

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Bubba's Back

While his teammates ran through plays on Thursday at half speed, tight end Bubba Franks went full tilt.

"I kind of took this as a mini-practice," Franks said. "Everyone else is kind of walking through, and I'm out there running routes."

He spent part of the practice running eight half-gassers -- jogging the length of the end zone and back -- as part of his physical, which he passed.

After the other players headed to the locker room, he caught passes from quarterback Craig Nall.

Franks returned to the practice field on Thursday -- one day after signing a multi-year contract with the Packers -- but will not play against the Patriots.

He participated in several plays and even caught a touchdown from Brett Favre on a play-action-fake to running back Ahman Green.

"Brett tried to throw the ball to me on every play I was in there," Franks said.

The No.1 tight end missed most of training camp but focused on adding strength and improving his speed while working out at the University of Miami (Fla.) during the summer. He also changed his diet, eliminating hamburgers and french fries at fast food joints and eating a lot of seafood.

"It looks like he's in good shape," offensive coordinator Tom Rossley said.

Learning the new names on a young Packers squad may serve as the greatest challenge for Franks.

"Coming in I felt like a rookie," Franks said. "I couldn't call them by name right now. There are a lot of new faces in the locker room."

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Whit Watch

Right guard William Whitticker, will start on Friday night even though Matt O'Dwyer has taken many of the repetitions with the first team during the last three days.

"We're going to get a good look at Will Whitticker," Rossley said.

The coaching staff must determine whether to start the rookie Whitticker or the 11-year-veteran O'Dwyer.

The 338-pounder Whitticker has displayed good smarts, but grasping a new offense serves as a challenge for any rookie.

"Every day's a learning experience, and I'm taking something away each day," he said. "My goal is to be better than I was the last day."

But will that be enough?

"We need to find out if he can do it," Rossley said.

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