Injuries cripple Packers

Ferguson, Green, Collins make early exits against Vikings

MINNEAPOLIS - The injury bug has continued to rear its ugly head against the Green Bay Packers this season. While a few starters returned to action Sunday after overcoming injuries, others wound up in the training room.

Wide receiver Robert Ferguson sustained a badly sprained left ankle after he caught a 44-yard pass from quarterback Brett Favre early in the second quarter. Ferguson out-leaped safety Corey Chavous to catch the pass, but landed awkwardly on his ankle and had to be carted off the field.

Ferguson left the Packers locker room on crutches and probably will not be available to play in Green Bay's upcoming game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Safety Nick Collins sustained a bruised quadriceps early in the third quarter. He was replaced by rookie Marviel Underwood, who played the remainder of the second half. Collins' status for Green Bay's upcoming game was uncertain immediately after the game.

The Packers' struggling running game took a hit when Ahman Green was lifted onto a cart and taken off the field with 8:18 left in the fourth quarter. Green aggravated a quadriceps injury that he first sustained Oct. 3 at Carolina.

Green said after the game that his right leg felt OK, but he was scheduled to undergo X-Rays once the Packers returned to Green Bay.

Vonta Leach suffered a "stinger" during a kickoff return in the fourth quarter, and Tony Fisher was poked in the eye, but both are expected to play against the Bengals.

"This is the hand we're dealt," said Packers coach Mike Sherman. "Some years you're dealt with other cards and this year we're dealt with these cards. This is the hand you have to play with. It's just the way it is. Whoever is out, we have to replace them. Somebody needs to step in and do the job better than the person who left. Sometimes that's very difficult."

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