Cloudy skies and a cold, brisk wind that made it feel more like October 22 than August 22 welcomed safety Darren Sharper and running back Ahman Green back to practice Thursday morning. Sharper sat out Wednesday afternoon's practice with back pain, and Green has been nursing a sore groin since the Arizona game.
Wide receiver Donald Driver did his best to warm up some ill-prepared Railbirds dressed in just shorts and T-shirts. After making a leaping one-handed grab, Driver celebrated by tossing the ball into the air and giving fans an instant replay of his spectacular catch.
Several other Packers generated some heat of their own on the practice field.
A tipped Craig Nall pass landed in the hands of cornerback Todd Franz, prompting defensive line coach Jethro Franklin to yell, "Now that's something to get excited about!"
In a 7-on-7 drill, backup quarterback Doug Pederson hit wide receiver Robert Ferguson for 35 yards. Later, linebacker Hardy Nickerson intercepted Brett Favre. After the play, Favre congratulated Nickerson with a slap on the helmet.
As if keeping with the warmth theme, the D-line played a little hot potato, as defensive tackle Steve Warren batted a ball, and several players juggled it before Vonnie Holliday finally took control and intercepted it.
Rookie safety Marques Anderson stayed late after the morning practice to talk with the media, and then stayed even a little longer to work on some moves with a tackling dummy. Anderson, who was forced to leave the first preseason game with tightness in his hamstring, said he was doing his best to make up for lost time.
"I'm really not set back," Anderson said. "I came out here earlier than expected. I was supposed to come out here Wednesday, but I took it upon myself to get out here and run through it, loosen it up a little bit, and I'm perfectly fine now."
The extra effort seems to have helped, as Anderson and cornerback Mike McKenzie picked off rookie quarterback Marcus Brady on consecutive plays in the afternoon practice.
The Packers' next practice will be Friday, August 23, from 8:45-11:25 a.m., and special teams from 2:15-3:15 p.m., at Clarke Hinkle Field, weather and field conditions permitting.
-- by Leslie Ricker