As the unseasonably cool weather continued in Green Bay, the Packers worked one step closer to their upcoming Monday night game. Although it rained off and on throughout the morning session, approximately 1,400 fans watched the team take part in a spirited practice.
If the morning session had a tone, it would be equally divided into scary and intense. With the preseason schedule looming, the team seems to be a little light on participating players. The damp conditions and hard knocks being distributed on Friday certainly didn't help matters.
Twice in about five minutes, the practice field fell silent as injuries popped up on the defensive side of the ball. First, it was linebacker Marcus Wilkins who hit the ground, followed by safety Curtis Fuller laying face down against the grass. Concerned teammates and fans looked on as Wilkins and Fuller received attention from trainers. Both players eventually got up, which came as a relief to teammates and fans alike. The players slowly walked off to applause of concern and support.
GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said that both players should be fine. Wilkins suffered a concussion and Fuller sprained his back. Sherman ruled them out of the afternoon practice and said that whether they will participate in Monday's contest against the Seahawks is still up in the air.
On the intense side of things, today's morning session happened to be the most heated of camp to date.
During team drills, defensive tackle Ken Kocher got in a minor shoving match with offensive lineman Atlas Herrion. What starts out as a disagreement between two players frequently gets bigger when other players step in to aid a teammate, and although Kocher and Herrion were the first players to mix it up, it wasn't long before other teammates exchanged words as well.
Practice became even more intense on what first looked like a routine run by Walter Williams and a fine defensive stop by Seante Williams. However, as the running back attempted to get up he had difficulty in getting away from the defender. Both players exchanged shoves and had to be separated. This behavior did not appeal to Sherman.
"I thought that was uncalled for," Sherman said. "We didn't need to do that; the extracurricular stuff would have been a penalty."
On a positive note, Walter Williams starred in the 11-on-11 drill. The first-year running back from Grambling State scooted through the right side of the line and just when it looked like the hole might close, he danced to his left, leaving a defender in his wake. The remainder of the run was all daylight en route to a 43-yard touchdown. The crowd took notice and cheered Williams as he crossed the goal line.
Other highlights of the morning came from James Lee, Steve Josue, and Najeh Davenport.
In a scrimmage situation, Lee, a nose tackle out of Oregon State, stopped running back Tony Fisher in his tracks for a loss. Lee has recently showed flashes of the player the Packers picked in the fifth round of the 2003 draft.
In 1-on-1 drills, Steve Josue continued to show a knack for rushing the quarterback. He beat tackle Jason Jimenez on consecutive attempts without much resistance. Josue, who spent the 2003 season on the practice squad, has been working with the defensive ends in the pass rushing drills. If practice is any indication, he looks like he could be the Packers' best pass rushing linebacker at this point.
The team received good news as Ahman Green returned to practice after missing the previous two days with a sore foot.
Sherman said he was pleased to have Green back.
"Today he looked like himself," Sherman said. "He appeared rested and it seemed like he did OK."
In the afternoon, the team held a 45-minute special teams workout.
The Packers are scheduled for one practice Saturday, which is slated to run from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at Clarke Hinkle Field (weather permitting). It is expected to be a full contact workout.
Where: Clarke Hinkle Field
Weather: 68°,rainy, cloudy
Did Not Participate: Na'il Diggs (back), Al Harris (hip flexor), Tyreo Harrison (ankle), David Martin (knee), Ja'Dae McGuire (abdominal strain), Chukie Nwokorie (hamstring), Joey Thomas (knee), Donnell Washington (arch), and Chris Watson (hamstring).
Physically Unable to Perform List: Mike Flanagan (knee tendinitis), Chris Johnson (stress fracture), Mike Wahle (knee contusion),
Non-Football Injury List: Brennan Curtin (boil)
Reserve/Did Not Report List: Mike McKenzie