Sherman holds Ferguson out of practice

Packers coach Mike Sherman called one of his starters an idiot on Wednesday.

Sherman directed that term of endearment — with a smile — toward wide receiver Robert Ferguson, who arrived at practice in full pads even though he's not allowed to practice due to a strained hamstring.

"I mean, he comes out today with pads on — he's an idiot; he shouldn't be out here," said Sherman. "He's a nut. He wants to go out there and practice. (But) he needs to rest that thing."

Sherman, of course, likes Ferguson's desire to practice even though taking a couple days off for a player of Ferguson's stature certainly isn't the end of the world. Despite Ferguson's pushing to play, Sherman said the "old-school football player" probably will be kept on the sideline for Saturday's second preseason game, at home against New Orleans.

"He drives you crazy trying to get on the field," Sherman said. "So, if he's healed up by Friday, maybe we give him a shot. But, I doubt it; I don't think we'll put him out there."

Two other players who are dying to strap on the pads are starting offensive linemen Mike Flanagan and Mike Wahle. Neither player — Flanagan is bothered by tendinitis in his left knee while Wahle has a bruised left knee — will suit up Saturday against New Orleans, Sherman said. Both, however, are making strides toward participating in their first practices of training camp.

Flanagan has started running while Wahle is slated to begin running next week. Wahle, however, is further ahead in his comeback than is Flanagan. Sherman hopes Wahle can play Aug. 27 at Jacksonville while Flanagan's target is the preseason finale Sept. 3 at Tennessee.

"Once Wahle starts running, he'll be ready to go," Sherman said.

In more good news, a couple key performers returned to the practice field Wednesday. Starting linebacker Na'il Diggs and impressive rookie cornerback Joey Thomas practiced, as did veteran cornerback Chris Watson. Neither of those three played Monday night.

Out of action were first-round pick Ahmad Carroll, who Sherman said was suffering from a tight hamstring due to fatigue from Monday's game. Fellow rookie Scott Wells was given most of the day off as he battled a nagging sore biceps.

Ongoing injuries include defensive end Chukie Nwokorie (hamstring), defensive tackle Donnell Washington (arch), linebacker Paris Lenon (hamstring), defensive back James Whitley (concussion), cornerbacks Chris Day (rib) and Chris Johnson (leg) and offensive lineman Atlas Herrion (knee).

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