Walker pulls up limping

Clifton, Little miss Sunday practice

Javon Walker put a scare into the Green Bay Packers Sunday evening when he strained his left hamstring while going out for a pass in a team drill. Walker was taken out of the "no pads" practice and said afterward that he'll be OK.

"It ain't that serious," Walker said as he walked off Clarke Hinkle Field. "It's not that bad at all. I could have kept on going, but we're taking a precaution before it gets worse."

Walker added that he might be back at practice Monday morning.

Roster moves
The Green Bay Packers have signed cornerback Charles Byrd and running back Joey Harris, and waived punter Bryce Benekos. In addition, the Packers will place running back Chaz Williams, who broke his ankle during a combined workout with Buffalo Thursday evening, on injured reserve.

Byrd, a 5-foot-11, 196-pound rookie out of Morehead State, joined the Cleveland Browns earlier this year as a non-drafted free agent, but was waived in June. With four interceptions and 14 passes defensed as a 2004 senior, Byrd earned Division I-AA Mid-Major All-America honors for the second straight season. A team captain and three-year starter, he helped the Eagles to three consecutive Pioneer Football League Southern Division championships. Byrd as a junior led all of Division I-AA with 22 passes defensed.

Harris, a 5-foot-10, 214-pound back out of Purdue, played in four games as a rookie last year with the Carolina Panthers. Originally signed by Carolina as a non-drafted free agent, Harris earned an October promotion from the practice squad after injuries sidelined Stephen Davis, DeShaun Foster and Rod Smart. Harris, who totaled 53 yards on 15 carries (3.5 average), including a 19-yard burst at Seattle (Oct. 31), was sidelined himself and placed on injured reserve in mid-November with a season-ending hamstring injury. With their top backs returning to health, the Panthers waived Harris late last month.

Both Benekos and Williams had signed as non-drafted free agents April 29.

Excused from practice
Tackle Chad Clifton and safety Earl Little were both excused from practice tonight by coach Mike Sherman.

Clifton's wife, Candy, gave birth to the couple's first child on Saturday, a boy. Little attended the funeral of a cousin who died over the weekend.

Both players are expected to return to practice on Monday morning.

Returns to practice
Matt O'Dwyer returned to practice tonight and played with the first-team offense at right guard. O'Dwyer missed some practices last week after injuring his neck.

Mike Sherman
on the team's inability to pick up the Buffalo Bills' blitz during the scrimmage between the two teams at Lambeau Field Friday night:

"We didn't protect very well, pick up their (Buffalo's) pressure very well. They did a good job disguising, getting us into certain protections and coming the other way. Our backs also contributed to that. It was a group effort in regard to the lack of productivity and picking up pressure."

Jim Bates on his assessment of the Packers defense in the Friday scrimmage against Buffalo:

"The first unit had some good snaps. We made some plays. There is still a lot of cleanup to do. We did take a decent first step. The second unit didn't show much. We had some individuals play well, but overall the whole group, as a group, did not play well.

"A lot of mistakes still being made. We expected that, and we expect to clean up these mistakes and get better. It doesn't happen overnight, but there were some encouraging signs with the first unit."

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