Two players on way back

Fisher, Martin have been practicing this week; Ferguson suffers setback

It appears that running back Tony Fisher and tight end David Martin will be ready to play Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings. Both have missed the last two or more games with injuries.

Meanwhile, wide receiver Robert Ferguson aggravated his knee injury in practice Friday and probably will not play Monday night.

Fisher returned to practice Thursday and today after being out the last 2 1/2 weeks because of a broken rib. Fisher participated in all phases of each practice. He's on the injury report as questionable, but he said Thursday that he expects to play Monday. Fisher, who started one game before the injury sidelined him, would assume his normal third-down duties.

Ferguson also made it through practice Thursday for the first time since he sustained a torn lateral collateral ligament in his left knee Oct. 23, when the Packers lost at Minnesota. But he aggravated the knee in practice today, according to a report, and probably will not play on Monday. Ferguson, who moved into the starting lineup in the wake of Pro Bowler Javon Walker's season-ending knee injury in Week 1, remains questionable to play against the Vikings on Monday.

Martin was back on the practice field Thursday, the first time since he sustained a strained groin in practice Oct. 28. The backup is questionable to play Monday.

Linebacker Robert Thomas missed practices the last two days with a strained quadriceps muscle he suffered in Sunday's win at Atlanta. The weak-side starter is questionable to play Monday.

If Thomas doesn't play, it's possible Na'il Diggs would take over in Thomas' spot. Diggs split reps at his strong-side position and on the weak-side Thursday. Diggs returned to game action last Sunday after being out since Oct. 3 with a torn medial collateral ligament, but he wasn't in the starting lineup. Paris Lenon remained the starter on the strong side for the fourth straight game.

Another candidate to replace Thomas on the weak side is rookie Roy Manning, who took some reps there with the No. 1 unit today and Thursday.

Cornerback Mike Hawkins, who's nursing a sprained ankle, practiced Thursday, but sat out of practice today. The nickel back is questionable for Monday's game.

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