Outlook improves for Hawk

Grant practices; KGB tests knee in pass-rush drill; Childress vague about quarterback Tarvaris Jackson.

Running back Ryan Grant was back at practice on Thursday, and so was linebacker A.J. Hawk.

Hawk, on the field for the first time since injuring his chest in the preseason opener against Cincinnati, took part in some individual drills, though Brandon Chillar was on the field for the jog-through segment.

"I thought he looked good just from watching him on the field. He looked like his normal self. He was flying around at practice," coach Mike McCarthy said, noting Hawk wasn't protected from impact.

As usual, reporters were not allowed to watch the team portion of practice as the Packers prepare for Monday's season-opening showdown against Minnesota.

Grant took the first rep with the No. 1 offense during the jog-through portion of practice inside the Don Hutson Center.

Starting left tackle Chad Clifton (chest and knees) participated in the jog-through portion of practice but was replaced later by left guard Daryn Colledge. Again, Jason Spitz lined up at center in place of Scott Wells (back), with Tony Moll taking Spitz's spot at right guard.

McCarthy said Clifton would be limited Friday, too, and will practice full-go on Saturday.

Defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, who has barely practiced since offseason knee injury, worked one-on-one with defensive line coach Carl Hairston on his pass-rushing technique. He was listed as a full participant on the injury report.

"I thought he looked very explosive today," McCarthy said. He was definitely getting off the ball and applying pressure, like he normally does."

Joining Wells on the sideline were receiver James Jones (knee), guard Josh Sitton (knee) and cornerback Charles Woodson, who was not listed on Wednesday's initial injury report. McCarthy said it was a "soreness thing," and he expected Woodson to practice on Friday.

McCarthy said Wells' absence could be "one day or it could be a couple of weeks," though he said Wells was encouraged by his progress.

Also from the injury report: safety Atari Bigby (ankle), Clifton, Hawk, safety Charlie Peprah (hamstring), defensive end Jeremy Thompson (groin) and linebacker Tracy White (ankle) were listed as limited participation, Gbaja-Biamila and Grant as full participation, Wells and Jones as did not participate and Sitton was out.

Speaking to reporters at Lambeau Field via conference call, Vikings coach Brad Childress said quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is improving but wouldn't divulge anything beyond that. Jackson sprained a ligament in his right knee in the second preseason game. He was a full participant at practice, according to the injury report.

Starting safety Madieu Williams and reserve running back Maurice Hicks did not participate, and receiver Robert Ferguson was limited participation. Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and PackerReport.com. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com

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