Defensive end Jamal Reynolds and wide receiver Robert Ferguson both saw their first action of the season Monday in the Packer's 28-21 come from behind win against the Jaguars.
Neither had been active in game before Monday, but both had a hand in the victory.
"I believe players have to earn their way to the field," said Packers head coach Mike Sherman. "Both were injured earlier in the year, and they have worked their way back."
Reynolds, the Packer's first pick in the 2001 draft, sacked Jacksonville quarterback Mark Brunell on the Jaguars' final play of the game, and forced him to fumble. The sack came with 39 seconds left as Jacksonville faced a fourth-and 12 from their 41. Linebacker Nate Wayne recovered the fumble to seal the Green Bay win.
"It shows that hard work pays off," said the Florida State product. "I have been working hard with defensive line coach Jethro Franklin, and to have that all pay off is great."
On the play, Reynolds pushed rookie left tackle Todd Fordham backward, snuck underneath Fordham's shoulder pads, and grabbed Brunell by the shoulder pad.
"I showed him some of my speed," Reynolds said. "I had some butterflies before the game, but I'm a pro now. All that college stuff behind me."
Ferguson, the Packer's second round pick, cleanly handled three kicks – two kickoffs and one punt – without a bobble or hiccup. He gained 32 yards on two kickoffs and four yards on one punt return. He also had two fair catches.
"I think I did fine," said Ferguson, from Texas A and M. "I'm pleased that we won, and that's the main thing."
"He gave us security on the punts," Sherman said. "He also went down on kickoff coverage. I think he did a very, very good job."
Reserve linebacker Torrance Marshall, Green Bay's third-round draft pick, made a huge fumble recovery in the third quarter when the Packers trailed 21-14. Quarterback Brett Favre threw a touchdown pass to Bill Schroeder to cut the Jaguar lead to 21-14.
Jacksonville running back Elvis Joseph returned the kick, and linebacker Chris Gizzi punched the ball out. Marshall recovered at the Jaguars 32. Three plays later, Favre found tight end Bubba Franks with a 1-yard touchdown to tie the game 21-21.
Sherman said he believes Reynolds and Ferguson will stay active for the rest of the year. "I think they can help us in the next six weeks," he said. "Opportunity came for them this week, and they both took advantage of it."