Packers notebook

Favre, Rodgers not expected to participate in upcoming camp; new Lambeau surface nearly complete

There's a good chance the Packers will have just two quarterbacks on the field for their one and only full-squad minicamp May 18-20 in Green Bay. Those two aren't the top tandem of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.

Head coach Mike McCarthy has all but ruled out Favre from participating in the mandatory camp. Favre will be on hand for it but more than likely as an observer. Without Favre and Rodgers, the Packers' only quarterbacks in camp with be third-stringer Ingle Martin and rookie free agent Jerry Babb.

The medical staff wants to give Favre more time to recover from the arthroscopic ankle surgery he underwent Feb. 26.

"I don't think it makes a lot of sense (for him) to do a whole lot, especially where he is as far as the time frame in his workouts," McCarthy said.

After putting it off for several years, Favre went through with the procedure to remove calcium deposits in his left ankle after he had informed the team that he would return for a 17th NFL season.

McCarthy would like to get Favre back up to speed with the offense during organized team activities, which start May 31 and are spread out over three weeks.

Favre met with reporters Saturday in Mississippi at his annual charity golf tournament and provided an update on his ankle.

"I had surgery in February; I could have played the following week - against doctors orders, but I could have played," Favre said. "Rehab's going fine, but everything's up to par right now. I think people who know me, know I will be ready.

"Am I ready at this moment? Probably not quite, but I will get myself ready and I think as they found out in the past, I will do everything I can do to help this team win."

Favre admitted he's not excited about coming to minicamp, but he said the Packers can expect him to be the same guy he's always been.

"Do I feel like going to training camp and minicamp?" Favre said. "Most of the time no. But I still love to play and I think there are a lot of guys who have retired or have been let go that still love to play but don't feel they can, and I still feel I can play at a high level.

"I love to compete and I love to win and I would hate to give it up and say, 'I could be doing that.' So that's why I'm back."

Rodgers, the former first-round draft pick entering his third pro season, would stand to benefit with Favre out of practice. However, McCarthy isn't sure that Rodgers will be cleared for the upcoming minicamp.

Rodgers is six months removed from suffering a broken left foot after relieving an injured Favre during a loss to New England. Rodgers has done minimal on-field work since the team's off-season program commenced in late March.

"(It's) kind of a common theme as far as just being cautious with him," McCarthy said. "He's another one that's champing at the bit. ... We're at that decision time for him -- when do you just finally take the reins off and let him go? He's very close."

The Packers chose not to sign former Wisconsin quarterback John Stocco, whom they had in for a tryout during their May 4-6 rookie orientation camp.

Field work nearly finished
The off-season turf makeover of Lambeau Field is nearly complete. Crews on May 10 and 11 laid new sod on the site of the famed frozen tundra.

The Kentucky bluegrass sod was unrolled on top of new drainage and heating systems that were installed during the late winter after the playing surface was excavated following last season.

"The sod looks terrific. It's great to see green in here again," team field manager Allen Johnson told

The sod is supported by a new sand base, which will facilitate better drainage during the season. Consequently, the field staff reduced the crown in the middle of the field from 14 inches to 5 1/2 inches.

The new surface will be a hybrid of the natural grass and synthetic fibers. The fibers will be stitched in with the grass in July.

By having a reinforced field, the team won't have to re-sod portions of the surface when the weather tends to wreak havoc late in the season.

Upcoming camp closed to public
All three days of the Packers' mandatory minicamp, May 18-20, will be held in the Don Hutscon Center, the club's indoor facility and closed to the public, though open for the media.

The team previously announced that six dates for organized team activities would be held outside and open for public and media viewing. However, those days were cut to four: May 31 and June 7, 14 and 18.

In the past, the team has been more liberal than most clubs in allowing the media and its fans access to minicamps and OTAs.

Quote to note
"In my mind, just watching 'em growing up and everything, it's crazy that Brett Favre's still playing. He's who I think of when I think of the Packers."
-- Rookie kicker Mason Crosby, 22, when asked what's the first thing that comes to mind when he thinks of the Packers, who drafted him in the sixth round out of Colorado.

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