Six key players unable to practice

The Packers had the makings of a pretty good football team watching from the sideline Thursday.

Quarterback Brett Favre was held out due to continued swelling and pain stemming from the bruised right hand suffered in the second quarter against Dallas.

Running back Ahman Green, as expected, was held out due to his nagging Achilles' problem.

Their best offensive lineman, Pro Bowl guard Marco Rivera, watched practice as he tries to recover from a sprained right ankle.

Their best cornerback, Al Harris, did not practice due to a problematic toe and the knee injury suffered against Dallas.

Their best defensive back, Darren Sharper, did not practice due to the knee injury suffered while breaking up a potential touchdown pass to Keyshawn Johnson in the first quarter Sunday.

Their most consistent defensive lineman, Aaron Kampman, was held back again due to a sprained left ankle.

Despite missing the last two days of practice and possibly being limited or held out entirely for Friday's workout, the Packers are optimistic Favre will make his 216th consecutive start. He is listed as probable (75 percent chance of playing).

"At one point, he wanted to (practice)," offensive coordinator Tom Rossley said. "They taped his hand up and was ready to. But he was a little concerned about just taking the snap more so than anything. He was throwing the ball pretty good."

Green is listed as probable and figures to practice Friday as the Packers emulate last week's regimen. After missing Wednesday's and Thursday's practices last week, Green earned offensive-player-of-the-week honors by tormenting Dallas for 163 yards.

Rivera is listed as questionable with his sprained right ankle. He did some running Thursday, however, and if he gets through the night without any complications, he expects to practice Friday.

On the defensive side of the ball, the worries lie with Harris (questionable; sprained medial-collateral ligament in his right knee) and Sharper (questionable; sprained posterior-cruciate ligament in his left knee).

Harris tested his ankle with the training staff and was encouraged. If he can't start, he'll be replaced in the starting lineup by Joey Thomas. If that's the case, the Packers will have a pair of rookies at cornerback as the third-round pick Thomas pairs with first-round pick Ahmad Carroll.

With the offensive struggles suffered by Washington this season, particularly in the passing game, Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell is hardly expecting a big game.

"To say that we're going to go after a young corner or two young corners, you know, you've got to be real careful because as a whole this defense is real solid and if you think it's going to be an easy day of passing, you're crazy," said Brunell, who has the lowest completion percentage of any passer in the league.

"They've got too much strength over there, their scheme is very solid, they don't make mistakes. I'm real impressed watching them on field. And they're playing real good football right now, regardless of who's not playing and who's stepped in, they're still going to be very tough to contend with."

Sharper hopes to test his knee Friday.

Kampman, meanwhile, is listed as probable. He ran with Rivera on Thursday.

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