Training camp notes

After preparing for their regular season opener against the Chicago Bears during the last two days, the Green Bay Packers began preparations for their upcoming preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams square off in four days on Monday Night Football.

At least two Packers receivers wore gold-colored No. 85 'pennies' during 7-on-7 drills to help the Packers' defensive backs prepare for Bengals' star receiver Chad Johnson.

The Packers, who practiced inside the Don Hutson Center on FieldTurf on Tuesday and Wednesday, practiced on Ray Nitschke Field Thursday because they will play on FieldTurf Monday in Cincinnati.

The Bengals announced on Thursday that quarterback Carson Palmer will play against the Packers. It will be Palmer's first game since blowing out his knee early in a playoff loss to the Steelers in January. Palmer isn't sure how long he'll play in the game but he's anxious to see if he can take a hit.

The Packers would be happy to oblige him.

"If he plays, great. I mean, he's good but hopefully he's ready. That's his livelihood," cornerback Al Harris said.

"If he plays, that means he's ready to go full speed and we'll have to get after him," Aaron Kampman said.

For the Packers, running back Ahman Green and linebacker Brady Poppinga are expected to play for the first time since they sustained major injuries last season. Green is coming back from a ruptured quadriceps and Poppinga an ACL injury. McCarthy said today that Green will play about 15-20 snaps.

The Packers and Bengals plan to use the game as a dress rehearsal for the regular season opener. Playing on Monday Night Football will add more excitement.

"Monday Night is always important," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. "You're playing in front of your peers, you're playing on a national stage. I'd say our players are looking forward to it, especially our younger guys who have never experienced it. This will be a great experience for everybody."

Injury update
Najeh Davenport did not practice for the second straight day because of a hip injury. His status for Monday night is uncertain.

"Player injuries are things I cannot control," McCarthy. "Obviously, you want to see him out there. He's competing for a roster spot. Am I concerned? I'm concerned about what's best for this football team. We like the things Najeh has done, but he needs to get out there and play to make our football team, just like everybody else."

Cornerbacks Mike Hawkins returned to team drills, completing his first full practice in weeks. Hawkins, who is returning from a knee injury, participated in individual drills Wednesday.

"He's clear to go as long as he can get through the practices," said McCarthy.

Other players who are still sidelined by injuries include defensive lineman Kenny Peterson (ankle), offensive lineman Will Whitticker (hamstring), offensive tackle Josh Bourke (hip), cornerbacks Will Blackmon (foot) and Patrick Dendy (ankle), and safety Atari Bigby (hand).

Fullback William Henderson again was along the sideline watching practice after having his right knee scoped on Monday. Henderson's right knee was heavily wrapped in ice. He still plans to be ready for the season opener.

Running back Arliss Beach has been wearing a red (non-contact) jersey in practice because of shoulder tendinitis.

Kicker struggles
Kicker Dave Rayner made 7 of 10 field-goal attempts in practice. All three of his missed field goals were wide left from 39 yards. The kicks he made came from distances of 20, 24, 30, 30, 39 , 44 and 44 yards. "It was not his best day," said McCarthy.

Extra points
-- Ahmad Carroll and Rod Gardner worked together, side-by-side, blocking a punt team 'gunner' during a special teams drill. On Monday, Carroll and Gardner were fighting in practice after Carroll interfered with Gardner during a pass play. Both Carroll and Garder seemed to have forgotten all about Monday's incident. Both were speaking to each other and trying to help each other out.

-- Cornerback Jason Horton practiced as the 'nickel' back with the first-string defense.

-- Free agent Ruvell Martin played ahead of fourth-round draft pick Corey Rodgers in the wide receiver rotation during team drills.


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