Packers notebook

A day after 14 veterans skipped the first of the Packers' practices this month, a few arrived in Green Bay. Wide receiver Donald Driver, tight end Bubba Franks, cornerback Ahmad Carroll and defensive tackle Corey Williams took part in Thursday's practice at Clarke Hinkle Field.

Also, running back Chaz Williams practiced for the first time since he sustained a broken ankle during training camp last year.

While Williams returned to practice, defensive lineman Kenny Peterson sat out after spraining his ankle on Wednesday.

Veterans who have yet to show include cornerbacks Al Harris and Charles Woodson, safeties Nick Collins and Mark Roman, defensive lineman Ryan Pickett, and wide receiver Rod Gardner.

Guard Junius Coston attended morning meetings, but did not practice because he had to attend "family issues." Rookie Jason Spitz practiced with the first-team offense at right guard in place of Coston.

Carroll said some of the veterans like Harris and Woodson had earned the right to skip the off-season workouts.

"I think when you get to the level of some of those guys, they really don't need to be here," Carroll said. "I've talked to Al and I know he and Charles are working out. When they show up they'll be in shape and they'll just pick up right where they left off. This isn't going to hurt them at all."

First-round pick A.J. Hawk has yet to arrive because he is finishing school at Ohio State.

Levens to re-sign for a day
Dorsey Levens is expected to sign a one-day contract today so he can retire as a member of the Green Bay Packers. Levens was selected in the fifth round of the 1994 draft by Green Bay. He helped the Packers to two straight Super Bowl appearances, and made the Pro Bowl in 1997 after rushing 329 times for 1,435 yards.

Levens left the Packers after the 2001 season and signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. He signed with the New York Giants in 2003 before re-signing with Philadelphia in 2004. In 11 seasons, Levens rushed 1,242 times for 4,955 yards and 36 touchdowns and caught 304 passes for 2,334 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Former Packers linebacker Bryce Paup signed a one-day contract in 2002.

Tailgate Tour planned for July
The Packers Thursday announced plans for the ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour,' a four-day, four-city bus trip to take place July 11-14, designed for the team to literally reach out across the state and thank fans in person for their enduring and enthusiastic support of the club through the years.

The event, the first of its kind for the team, will include Chairman Bob Harlan, President John Jones and players Donald Driver, Bubba Franks and Rob Davis. The tour will take place aboard a customized motor coach emblazoned with the logo "Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour" and the phrase "Touching Down in Your Community." The tour will make stops in Milwaukee (July 11) Madison (July 12), La Crosse (July 13) and Wausau (July 14).

The motor coach will make one scheduled stop during the day at a site to be determined in each city. At the visit, tour members will have the opportunity to interact with fans and deliver the message of "thanks." In addition to the planned stops, surprise stops will be made as the schedule allows.

Culminating the day's activities during the ‘Tailgate Tour' will be an evening tailgate party in each city from 5:30 to 8 p.m., with a flavor of famous Lambeau Field tailgating, hosted by a local non-profit organization. The parties will feature food and mingling with the Packers representatives. At each tailgate party a football autographed by each tour member will be given away as a door prize. Tailgate party tickets will cost $20, with proceeds to benefit the hosting organization.

"We're excited about this new fan initiative for the team," said Harlan. "The Packers have enjoyed such wonderful support from our fans across the state and this is an opportunity for members of our organization and some of our players to go out and see many fans in person and say, ‘Thanks.' "

Added Jones: "For so many years we've enjoyed fans coming to Lambeau Field and supporting the team and now we'll have the opportunity to visit them and show our appreciation. This will be a great addition to our community outreach efforts and being able to raise money in the process for some fine organizations is a nice benefit."

‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour' evening tailgate party locations and ticket information are as follows (5:30 to 8 p.m. in each city):

• Milwaukee: Bradley Tech High School, July 11. To benefit Bradley Tech's new athletic field and park. Ticket purchase/information: Jan Breitbach (414/212-2410).

• Madison: Mandt Park in Stoughton, July 12. To benefit South Central Wisconsin Special Olympics. Ticket purchase/information: www.specialolympicswisconsin.org or call Theresa Steiner (608/222-1324 Ext. 350).

• La Crosse: Oktoberfest Grounds, July 13. To benefit Junior Achievement programs throughout Coulee Region. Ticket purchase/information: Festival Foods locations in La Crosse (608785-1000), Onalaska (608/781-2272) and Holmen (608/526-3339).

• Wausau: Dale's Weston Lanes, July 14. To benefit Woodson YMCA youth sports programs. Ticket purchase/information: Woodson YMCA Wausau (715/845-2177) and Aspirus (715/841-1850) Branches, Total Tan (715/355-4849) and Dale's Weston Lanes (715/359-8488).

Fans interested in ‘Tailgate Tour' details are encouraged to visit www.packers.com often as information will be updated as the dates near. Fans can track each day's progress of the tour as well, with Web stories and photo galleries posted daily.


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