Packers notebook

Rookie running back forced to miss minicamp; injury update

By no fault of his own, rookie running back Brandon Jackson will not be with the team for the mandatory full-squad minicamp, which began Friday and ends on Sunday.

Jackson was all but required to be in Los Angeles for EA Sports' 2007 Reebok NFL Rookie Premier. The annual promotional function included 30 skill players on offense who were taken on the first day of the NFL Draft last month.

Jackson earned $12,000 for the weekend appearance, but he wanted no part of it. The second-round draft pick wanted to be in Green Bay for the minicamp.

However, the NFL Management Council ruled that Jackson either had to be at the Rookie Premier, as mandated in the collective-bargaining agreement, or sit out the minicamp.

"They literally locked him out of camp," Jackson's agent, Gary Wichard, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "The team is not allowed to have him. I think it's ridiculous."

Jackson's absence could set him back as a prime contender for the starting halfback spot. Jackson participated in the team's rookie orientation camp two weeks earlier. Team personnel, though, were eager to get a better gauge of the former part-time starter at Nebraska with the veterans on the field.

Medical watch
Quarterback Brett Favre did some work with the team during the first full-squad minicamp practice on Friday, but did not participate in team drills. Favre underwent surgery Feb. 26 to clean out calcium deposits in his left ankle. Favre said before the start of the minicamp that the medical staff wanted to be cautious with his return to the field.

Favre's top backup, Aaron Rodgers, also was limited in the first practice. He's been eased back into on-field things after suffering a broken left foot in November.

Defensive end Aaron Kampman will not be participating in practices after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery earlier in the off-season. Others who probably will not be practicing this weekend include safety Marviel Underwood (knee), wide receiver Robert Ferguson (foot), offensive lineman Kevin Barry (quadriceps), defensive tackle Justin Harrell (biceps), and running back Arliss Beach (ankle).

Running back DeShawn Wynn, linebacker Marcus Randall, linebacker Abdul Hodge, linebacker Desmond Bishop, and guard Tony Palmer also did not practice on Friday. Bishop could not attend by league rule because his school (University of California) was still in session, but McCarthy said Bishop would arrive on Saturday.

Defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (tight bruise) and guard Jason Spitz (back) were forced to stop practicing after a collision in a drill. Neither injury appears to be serious.

Quote to note
"He only wants the team to be better, with experience, not thinking that they're not talented because I know that he feels they are. I know that Brett is very happy in Green Bay. I know that he loves the fans here. We both do."
-- Deanna Favre on husband and Packers quarterback Brett Favre during her appearance in Green Bay on May 16 for a breast cancer awareness speaking engagement.


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