Rookie Learning New Position

With veteran safety LeRoy Butler ailing, rookie cornerback Bhawoh Jue practiced at safety Monday when the team returned from its bye week. Packers coach Mike Sherman said that Butler, who suffered a bruised sternum in a loss Oct. 21 against Minnesota, has a "50-50" chance of playing Sunday, but he wanted to have Jue learn the free safety position behind Chris Akins.

Akins filled in for Butler against the Vikings but gave up a long touchdown pass and missed a few tackles. Sherman also bolstered the secondary Monday by signing free agent Keith Thibodeaux, who was released in mid-October by the Vikings.

"That's why Thibodeaux is such a valuable component here, to give us the flexibility to work with Bhawoh Jue," Sherman said. "I thought Chris Akins, for what we asked him to do against Minnesota ... he was kind of thrown into the wolves there ... I thought he did a fine job."

Butler, 33, has started in 113 straight regular season games and 125 straight counting the playoffs. He suffered some torn rib cartilage when Vikings tight end Bryon Chamberlain fell on him in the first quarter of Green Bay's 35-13 loss to the Vikings.

Butler practiced with the team on Monday. The Packers resume practice Wednesday for their upcoming game Sunday at home against Tampa Bay. Sherman said he will know later this week if Butler will be ready to play.

If Butler doesn't play, either Akins and Jue will start at free safety next to Darren Sharper. Thibodeaux or Allen Rossum would then be moved into Jue's spot in the dime defense (six defensive backs).

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