Packers padless in lackluster scrimmage

In perhaps a first for an intrasquad scrimmage, the banged-up Green Bay Packers practiced under the lights in empty Lambeau Field without pads Monday night. As many of the team's walking wounded looked on, the Packers worked on offense, defense and special teams, but few players gave coach/GM Mike Sherman any reason to be excited.<p>

"There are things we have to do better to be the type of team that we've got to be," said Sherman. "There were a lot of young players out here that didn't do some of the basics. There were line and assignment-type errors. If the officials were throwing flags, we would have had a bunch of them tonight."

Sherman said he was planning on conducting the scrimmage in pads, but about 20 players are sidelined because of injuries. The Packers entered Monday night's practice with only one healthy tailback and one healthy fullback. To make matters worse, starting fullback William Henderson was taken to a Green Bay hospital shortly before the scrimmage because he passed a kidney stone.

Sherman was hoping to have two live punt returns, but he had to put that on the backburner for later in the week. The Packers open their five-game exhibition season on Aug. 4 in Canton, Ohio, in the annual Hall of Fame Game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football.

Wide receiver Javon Walker led the Packers with seven catches for 138 yards. He and Karsten Bailey (7 catches for 95 yards) filled in for starters Donald Driver (hamstring) and Robert Ferguson (tailbone). Rookie seventh round pick Carl Ford continued to shine, making 3 catches for 39 yards.

But Green Bay's wide receivers, tight ends and running backs also dropped a number of passes, and quarterback Brett Favre muffed a handoff to Walker on a reverse. Favre threw two touchdown passes to Walker and moved the offense well at times in two-minute drills.

Sherman, standing behind the quarterback on most plays, called the sacks for the defense. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila led the Packers with four two-handed tags on the quarterback.

Kicker Ryan Longwell made all four of his field goal attempts. Punter Josh Bidwell held the ball on one of the attempts and backup quarterback Doug Pederson held on the other three. Free agent Antonio Chatman handled the ball well on two punt returns and one kickoff return. He currently is the front-runner for those jobs, but that will depend largely on his performances on preseason games. Ford also returned a punt.

Until many of the wounded return to practice, the hitting will simply have to wait.

"Some guys want to show what they have," said rookie middle linebacker Nick Barnett. "I definitely wanted to come out here and play, get dirty on Lambeau Field."

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