WR Donald Driver has seen his snaps, and consequently his production, greatly reduced in 2012, but the Packers’ all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards said on Wednesday he has no regrets about restructuring his contract to return to Green Bay after winning the “Dancing With The Stars” competition in the spring.
“No. When I came back, it was all for the opportunity to win another Super Bowl, and for the fans,” Driver said. “It’s hard to leave the fans that supported you throughout your career, and they supported me throughout the process, especially this offseason with ‘Dancing With The Stars,’ and you can’t let them go. You have to continue.
“You think about every time I catch a ball in that stadium, it goes crazy. I don’t think I would have gone anywhere else and gotten the same love.”
Driver has just four catches for 45 yards and one touchdown through seven games this season, and he has played only a handful of snaps in some games, even with WR Greg Jennings sidelined with a groin injury. He said he didn’t expect such a reduced role, but he’s staying positive with the thought that he could be called upon more later in the season. Driver missed practice on Wednesday due to a neck injury, but he said he’s fine.
“I don’t think you ever expect your role to be this way,” he said. “It happens, and it transitions to that certain point. Mine did. I think you have to be OK with it. When you’re OK with it, then everyone else around you will be OK with it.”
As a team leader for a long time and now a national celebrity, it’s clear by Driver’s words that he’s well aware his public demeanor is being watched closely.
“I don’t think you can complain,” he said. “The most I’ve complained is when I was a child. This is just a setback. You have to respect it, understand it’s a business decision, and when it’s all said and done, hoping that I get a little more playing time.”
Driver said he hopes the coaches haven’t taken him “completely out of the playbook,” and he vows to be ready for any opportunity that comes his way. QB Aaron Rodgers acknowledged that Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones and Jermichael Finley are all options getting more attention at this point, but over a long season there’s no telling when things might change. Rodgers probably remembers as well as anyone that Driver was his best receiver in the playoff defeat to the Giants last January.
“At some point we’re going to count on him to make the plays he’s capable of making,” Rodgers said. “Until then he’s going to be a great teammate and look for his opportunities and when he gets them we’ll expect him to make the plays.”
On another note, it was announced this week that Driver will be inducted into the Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame on Dec. 6. A seventh-round draft pick out of Alcorn State, Driver joins former Philadelphia Eagles WR Harold Carmichael from Southern University in the eight-member class of 2012 inductees. The SWAC Hall of Fame already includes Pro Football Hall of Famers Willie Davis from Grambling and Jerry Rice from Mississippi Valley State.
Tags: donald driver
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“This has been similar in the fact that we lost some key guys in 2010 and we lost some key guys already this year,” Rodgers said of the season-ending injuries, which were to starters Ryan Grant, Mark Tauscher, Morgan Burnett, Nick Barnett, Brad Jones and Jermichael Finley in the first five weeks of 2010. The Packers have lost Desmond Bishop and D.J. Smith for the season this year, and now Cedric Benson and Charles Woodson for extended periods.
“We started a little slow, lost a couple of overtimes games early that year, then we started getting on a roll before the bye week. We’d like to do the same thing this season.”
After the 3-3 start, including consecutive OT losses to Washington and Miami, the Packers won three straight to get to their bye week at 6-3. This year, the Packers actually fell to 2-3 with the loss at Indianapolis but have won two straight to get back above .500 with two more games left before the bye.
The other thing Rodgers noted was what he called “a little-talked-about-fact,” that the 2010 World Series champion San Francisco Giants have returned to the Fall Classic this year. Karma in the making?
“We’re pulling for the Giants to get a win and hopefully that means we’re heading down to New Orleans,” Rodgers said.
Tags: aaron rodgers, injuries, san francisco giants, world series
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The Packers’ injury list is rather long this week, and as a result Mike McCarthy cut practice short on Wednesday and plans to do so again on Thursday.
New to the injury report this week are WR Donald Driver (neck), FB John Kuhn (hamstring), G T.J. Lang (elbow/wrist), WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring) and C Jeff Saturday (neck). Driver and Kuhn sat out practice while the other three were limited. McCarthy said he didn’t know if any of these players were in danger of missing Sunday’s game, but he didn’t indicate any of the injuries was serious. Driver and Saturday both spoke to groups of reporters at their lockers and said they’ll be fine.
Also missing practice were WR Greg Jennings (groin), LB Nick Perry (knee), NT B.J. Raji (ankle) and CB Sam Shields (ankle). Jennings is in the process of getting a second opinion on his injury, which has forced him to miss the last three games. Raji is scheduled to do rehab work and perhaps practice on a limited basis on Thursday. McCarthy said Perry and Shields are not ready to test their injuries on Thursday and will be re-evaluated Friday, an indication they’ll both miss another game.
TE Jermichael Finley (shoulder) was a limited participant in practice, but he has played the last two weeks while listed on the injury report. QB Aaron Rodgers (calf) was a full participant in practice.
Tags: injury report
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- If you’re looking for a bar to watch the game at, try www.packerseverywhere.com. Packers Everywhere was created to let you know where you can gather with other Packers fans to watch games and have all kinds of other Packers-related fun. We know that the only thing you like more than watching Packers games is watching them with your fellow fans.
- The Packers make their first of two scheduled appearances this season on CBS. The network will air the contest to a regional audience.
- Play-by-play man Greg Gumbel and color analyst Dan Dierdorf will have the call from the broadcast booth.
- Milwaukee’s WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since 1929, heads up the 53-station Packers Radio Network, with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (color) calling the action. The duo enters its 14th season of broadcasts together across the Packers Radio Network, which covers 44 markets in six states.
- The broadcast is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio (Channel 92) as part of the network’s NFL Sunday Drive.
- DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game in HD on Channel 709.
- The image below shows an unofficial map (courtesy of the506.com) of which regions will receive the game on CBS:
- Listen to live radio broadcasts online in premium sound quality with NFL Audio Pass.
- For international fans: Watch NFL games, including the playoffs and Super Bowl, live or on-demand online in HD with NFL Game Pass (Regional Canadian blackouts: Winnipeg).
The information above is contained within this week’s Dope Sheet. For even more information on Sunday’s game, check out the Dope Sheet.
Tags: jacksonville jaguars, tv coverage map, where to watch
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Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey and QB Blaine Gabbert were made available to the media via conference call Wednesday afternoon. To listen to Mularkey and Gabbert talk about Sunday’s game in Green Bay, click on the links below.
Tags: blaine gabbert, conference calls, jacksonville jaguars, mike mularkey
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FB John Kuhn and WR Donald Driver were among the handful of players not practicing on Wednesday during the portion of the workout open to reporters.
Also not practicing were CB Sam Shields, LB Nick Perry, WR Greg Jennings and NT B.J. Raji. All four of those players missed last week’s game due to injuries. DE Mike Neal, who left part of the St. Louis game with a knee injury but returned to the game, was practicing.
Mike McCarthy will provide an update after practice, when the first injury report of the week is announced.
Tags: donald driver, john kuhn
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