Walker, Franks should be ready

The Packers' best wishes for the injuries suffered in the second half Sunday in Chicago by Javon Walker and Bubba Franks have been realized.

Packers coach Mike Sherman said both his Pro Bowl wide receiver and his reliable tight end should be able to practice when the Packers convene Wednesday to prepare for Sunday's playoff game against Minnesota.

Walker suffered a mild concussion during the third quarter when the back of his helmet bounced off the turf as he was thrown to the ground by Chicago's Charles Tillman following a 43-yard reception. After the game, Sherman said Walker had not suffered a concussion and could have gone back into the game if necessary.

Franks bruised his left knee while run blocking during the fourth quarter. On the play, Mark Tauscher fell into the back of Franks' legs, causing him to land awkwardly on his knee.

Meanwhile, Sherman said wide receiver Robert Ferguson is making "slow progress" from the clothesline hit suffered Dec. 19 against Jacksonville. The hit left Ferguson temporarily paralyzed, but Ferguson has said he wants to return during the playoffs.

Sherman said Ferguson would have to come a "significant way" to be able to play Sunday. But, Sherman wouldn't rule it out, adding, "I think once it comes, it comes. From my understanding, he could wake up today and be markedly better."

Backup linebackers Paris Lenon (hyperextended elbow) and Steve Josue (bruised hip) were expected to practice Wednesday. Lenon will need a spliNt to practice and play. No. 3 fullback Vonta Leach (bruised shin, sprained ankle) also should practice Wednesday.

Meanwhile, backup running back Najeh Davenport should be ready for Sunday's game. Davenport said he could have played against Chicago. Sherman would not say who would start at center, where Grey Ruegamer and rookie Scott Wells each played a half at Chicago.

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