The Word: Training Camp Day 25

Morency may return next week; Havner battles for spot; plays of the day

Vernand Morency, who has been sidelined with a knee injury since the first day of training camp, may return next week and play against the Tennessee Titans in Green Bay's preseason finale at Tennessee.

"I'm excited," Morency said. " I can't wait to get back out on the field."

Coach Mike McCarthy said that if Morency does not play against Tennessee, he will be ready to play in time for the season opener against Philadelphia Sept. 9. Rookie Brandon Jackson has stepped in with the first-team offense since Morency was sidelined.

Even if Morency is ready to play in time for the opener, Jackson probably will be the starter, but that could change if Morency returns next week.

"They keep telling me his rehab is going really well, but he's week-to-week," McCarthy said. "He won't go this week. The decision on him for Tennessee is something we will look at in the middle of this week. I'm very hopeful that he will be close for that game, and I think he definitely will be ready for Philadelphia."

The Packers close their preseason schedule Aug. 30 against the Titans.

"It hurts every single day that I can't be out there with my teammates," Morency said. "It's something I love to do. This is a dream of mine. I want to be out there to help, and I can't."

The Packers practiced inside the Don Hutson Center for the second straight day, despite the fact that it wasn't raining outside. McCarthy apologized for moving the practice inside and blamed it on the weather report that he received in the morning.

Here are some other notes from the practice, in which the players wore pads, but were restricted to 'thud' tackling:

Offensive Play of the Day
For those who insist that Bubba Franks is washed up and won't be a contributor to the offense this season, think again. Franks had another good practice and provided a snapshot of the chemistry between him and Brett Favre.

During an 11-on-11 goal line drill from the 3, Franks burst off the line into the end zone against a linebacker and made a quick cut to his left, racing to the corner to haul in a well-placed touch pass from Favre. Franks and Favre made the play look easy because of the timing between both of them.

Defensive Play of the Day
Johnny Jolly is fighting to land a roster spot along an impressive defensive line. Jolly helped his cause today by making a rare interception for a lineman.

Jolly shed his blocker at the line of scrimmage against the third-team offense, then jumped up to get his hands on a pass from Paul Thompson. Jolly dived to his knees to make the catch behind the line of scrimmage and made the play.

Jolly, who failed his physical prior to camp, has put himself in position to make the team due to the quickness and athleticism that he has showed to get past offensive linemen and make plays, line the one he made at the end of practice today.

Stock is Up
Keep an eye on linebacker Spencer Havner in the next two preseason games. The first-year pro from UCLA spent the last 13 weeks of the 2006 season on Green Bay's practice squad.

Havner began training camp as a longshot to make the team, but he has been practicing with the second-team defense at outside linebacker opposite Tracy White and next to middle linebacker Desmond Bishop. If Havner can continue to improve in the next two preseason games at linebacker and on special teams, he probably will make the team.

"I think Spencer has had a very good off-season," said McCarthy. "He's a young guy that came to us late last year. I thought he played OK in the first (preseason) game. I thought he improved in the second (preseason) game. I thought he played better on special teams and played better on defense. Spencer is another individual that's fighting for a job at the linebacker position. I like his versatility. He can play all three positions. He will see a bunch of action this Thursday night."

The Packers probably will keep six linebackers on the roster, including starters A.J. Hawk, Nick Barnett and Brady Poppinga. White and Bishop appear to be on their way to making the team, leaving Havner battling for the final spot against Abdul Hodge, Tim Goodwell, Rory Johnson, and Juwan Simpson.

Stock is Down
Running back DeShawn Wynn said last week that he was hoping to return to practice this week and play against the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday night at Lambeau Field. However, Wynn did not practice the last two days due to his tender quadriceps, which he injured Aug. 7 in practice, and will not play against the Jaguars.

At this pace, Wynn seems to be headed toward the season-ending injured reserve list, or possibly getting released. The Packers simply have not seen enough of Wynn, a seventh round draft choice this year by Green Bay out of Florida, to determine if he can contribute to the offense.

He Said It
"My mom and family back home are excited. They read the articles on the web sites and stuff like that. It's a very exciting time for me and my family and friends."
Cornerback Jarrett Bush on his opportunity to start on Thursday night

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