Training camp notes

Head coach and general manager Mike Sherman showed a little mercy on his banged-up team today. Instead of practicing in pads in the morning as scheduled, the coach had them wear shorts and jerseys for both the morning and afternoon practices.<p>

A number of players have been sidelined in the past couple of days because of injuries. "The last two days have been very physical practices," Sherman said. "We are a pretty sore football team. I think that's part of my job is to recognize the time when you should back off a little bit. If we didn't have two very good physical practices the last two days, I probably wouldn't have opted to go this way. However, as I reminded the team, when we make a transition like this the onus is on them to come out in the afternoon and play fast when we take the pads off. We weren't as fast as we should have been today. We were a little bit above average maybe."

A day off: Quarterback Brett Favre and running back Ahman Green each got the day off. Both players were at practice, but neither participated in drills. Green has been bothered by a sore foot. The coaches gave Favre the day off as a precautionary measure on his golden right arm. In 1999, Favre fought tendinitis in his arm throughout the season after throwing too much early in training camp.

"I do have to be more careful," Favre said. "I like to take the reps, especially with some of the newer guys, but we have a lot of time to do that."

Thin at cornerback: Many of the players who have been unable to practice include defensive backs. Starting cornerback Tyrone Williams (groin), and backups Keith Thibodeaux (groin), and Bhawoh Jue (groin/abdomin) were unable to practice today. That left rookie free agent Erwin Swiney starting at right cornerback during drills.

"I think it's common when you play as much bump coverage as we do that guys do get sore," Sherman said.

Others on the injured list include: C Mike Flanagan (broken thumb), offensive tackles Earl Dotson (knee) and Kevin Jordan (knee), running back Tony Fisher (ankle), wide receivers Robert Ferguson (groin) and Windrell Hayes (knee), and tight end Tyrone Davis (hamstring).

Tempers flare: Guard Chris Watton and defensive tackle John Gilmore had to be separated during a one-on-one drill. In the past couple of days, practices have included a few scraps between players.

"Sometimes those things happen, but we don't want to carry it back into the locker room," said offensive line coach Larry Beightol.

Weather: Sunny and cooler to the delight of players and coaches. Highs were in the upper 70s.

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