Packers WR Driver participates for first time in training camp

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- After spending the first three days of training camp sidelined with a shoulder injury, Packers receiver Donald Driver was finally able to practice for the first time on Tuesday.

Driver had been previously unable to pass his physical, but Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Driver wasn't likely to be limited at all during workouts.

"He's clear," McCarthy said. "He has no limitations. We're just being cautious with his shoulder."

Driver sustained a separated joint in his right shoulder during Green Bay's win at San Francisco on Dec. 10. He managed to play for the rest of the season and set career highs with 92 catches and 1,295 yards receiving. He also played in the Pro Bowl for the second time and didn't require shoulder surgery in the offseason.

Driver said it had felt strange not participating the first three days and was pleased that almost everything among the receivers seems back to normal.

"It felt good to be out there and cracking a sweat with the rest of the guys," Driver said. "I feel good. It's good to be back."

After practicing with the rest of the receivers, Driver said he could sense Robert Ferguson, Greg Jennings and the rest of the group was bolstered by his return.

"Robert and Greg said, 'I'm their spark plug.' We hadn't been making catches in practice, but today, we were catching all of the balls," Driver said. "I don't look at it like that, but I
definitely think it makes those guys go out there and practice even harder."

Packers receivers coach Jimmy Robinson said he thought Driver looked as good as he usually does.

"Donald never looks much different," Robinson said. "He did a great job. He looked great out there, like he always does."

Driver wasn't the only receiver impressing the coaches during Tuesday morning's practice.

Rookie James Jones put on the best show of the day, making two tough catches in the end zone on passes from Aaron Rodgers and Paul Thompson.

"He's looked good so far there's no question about that," Robinson said. "We knew he was a good player. There was a lot we liked about him that's why we drafted him so high."


Brett Favre missed practice while attending the funeral of his stepfather-in-law, Rocky Byrd. Favre is expected to return to the team later this week. With Favre out, Rodgers again took the snaps with the first team. ... RB Vernand Morency remained out with an injured right knee. Morency iced the knee throughout practice and is expected to miss a couple of weeks. ... DE Aaron Kampman, LT Chad Clifton, TE Bubba Franks, S Marviel Underwood, LB Abdul Hodge and WR Robert Ferguson were held out of the morning practice as expected. All are on a one-a-day practice schedule.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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