Up-tempo minicamp leaves some hobbling

The Green Bay Packers wrapped up an aggressive June minicamp today with a number of players standing on the sidelines nursing bumps and bruises. But with more than a month off, the Packers are expected to begin training camp at nearly full strength.<p>

Players wore helmets and shorts for all eight practices over the last week and a half, though many went beyond "tagging" ballcarriers or receivers down with two hands at the end of plays.

"I told the guys this morning that we have been afflicted by a very bad case of stupidity in this camp as far as guys tackling each other and being a little bit too physical, and jeopardizing careers by diving for balls and knocking people down," said Packers coach and general manager Mike Sherman. "That's a good thing because of the aggressive nature that they showed and the enthusiasm that they have to play well, but it has transferred into some of these little nicks and bruises that we've had."

A handful of veterans sat out of the final practice this morning, including starting cornerbacks Al Harris (knee) and Mike McKenzie (leg), running back Ahman Green (thigh), and wide receiver Javon Walker (knee). They are expected to be ready when training camp opens on July 19 for rookies and first-year players.

Offensive tackles Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton also are expected to be ready to play by the beginning of the regular season, but they will practice on a limited basis when training camp begins.

Fullback Nick Luchey (knee), cornerback Chris Johnson (ankle), defensive lineman Chukie Nwokorie (knee), wide receiver Gari Scott (knee), and Rod Walker (shoulder) missed some or all of the minicamp practices.

During the last three practices, many of the veterans were allowed to leave about a half hour before the end of practice, giving rookies and younger players extra scrimmage time. "We got a lot of stuff in," said Sherman. "It wasn't crisp and clean, but our learning process is cumulative. We put stuff in. Everything goes in for a reason, and it's built upon in training camp, so I feel very good about what we accomplished in this minicamp. We're ahead of schedule in that regard."

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