Green Bay Packers training camp got into full swing Tuesday with the arrival of veterans to the practice field. Approximately 750 fans lined the fences to watch the team engage in a pair of pads practices.
Among the biggest highlights of the morning practice was the return from injury of offensive tackles Chad Clifton (pelvis/hip) and Mark Tauscher (knee), both of whom finished the 2002 season on injured reserve.
Although their participation was expected to be limited to non-contact drills, both worked out with the No. 1 offensive unit in team situations, which included 'thud' contact (non-tackling situation).
Both were held out of the afternoon practice for precautionary reasons.
"They did quite a bit out here," GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said. "To see them back is certainly exciting. I know our quarterback is excited."
Per usual in the opening practice of camp, the Packers showed some preseason rust with a number of fumbles and other miscues. However, Robert Ferguson looked in midseason form when he made an outstanding diving catch down the left sideline on a 35-yard pass from Favre, providing what was undoubtedly the play of the day.
In 7-on-7 drills, Marques Anderson stepped in front of Bubba Franks to intercept a Favre pass.
Veteran quarterback Doug Pederson hit rookie Carl Ford on a 25-yard pass down the right sideline that drew applause from the railbirds.
During the special teams portion of practice, Packers field goal blockers polished their technique by blasting past a blocking dummy and then diving with outstretched arms onto a pair of safety mats, to simulate diving at the ball in a game situation.
In the afternoon team drills, tight end David Martin drew applause from fans after climbing the ladder, fully extended along the left sideline, to nab a Favre pass that seemed destined to sail over everyone.
On the defensive side, linebacker Hannibal Navies welcomed Najeh Davenport across the line of scrimmage with a crushing hit that knocked the running back to the ground. A few plays later, recently-signed defensive end Earl Cochran busted through the offensive line to knock down a Favre pass intended for Donald Driver.
Moving on to special teams, safety Darren Sharper joined the group of returners to field a punt from Josh Bidwell.
Also of note Tuesday, safety Bobby Jackson (groin) and wide receiver DeAndrew Rubin (hamstring) made their first practice appearances at camp Tuesday, having sat out the weekend workouts due to injury.
Sherman said that rookie defensive tackle James Lee would see a chiropractor about back pains that limited his participation Tuesday.
The Packers return to the practice field Wednesday, with practices scheduled for 8:45-11:15 a.m. (pads) and 2:45-4:40 p.m. (shells)
Where: Clarke Hinkle Field
Weather: 73 degrees, partly cloudy
Did Not Participate: Jorg Heckenbach (exhaustion/dehydration), Cletidus Hunt (acute gastritis), Jermaine Petty (hamstring), Steve Warren (back).
Remains Unsigned: Gilbert Brown.
Click here for the training camp schedule.
Click here for information on Packers training camp, including a visitor's guide.
-- Jeff Harding contributed to this report.