Rivera and Sharper return to practice

Trying to beat the time frames handed to them after their respective injuries, guard Marco Rivera and safety Darren Shaper practiced Wednesday with encouraging results.<P>

Sharper, who has a pulled groin, and Rivera, who suffered a sprained knee two weeks ago vs. Carolina, are both on a mission to play in the Packers' opener Sunday vs. Minnesota at Lambeau Field.

They participated in the team's full no-pads practice Wednesday.

Playing with torn ligaments is nothing new for Rivera. He played with torn MCLs in both knees last year, so Wednesday's practice probably didn't feel too burdensome to handle.

"It's not like I have no pain or anything," Rivera said. "It was to the point where it was controllable and I had good strength in it. It was positive.

"Now I just have to see how the knee reacts. I might come in tomorrow and it might be swollen and killing me. As of right now, I feel pretty good about it."

As for Sharper, Wednesday was a follow-up to a successful return on Monday when he went through a partial practice.

"I tried not to do too much explosive movement," Sharper said. "It felt good. A couple times I tried to turn and itt didn't bother me at all."

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