The Green Bay Packers elected to keep veteran wide receiver Donald Driver inactive last week against the Minnesota Vikings in what could have been his last game at Lambeau Field. However, the chances of Driver playing in the Divisional playoffs against the San Francisco 49ers are looking good.
The 37-year-old Driver went to head coach Mike McCarthy and told him he would do anything it takes to suit up one last time for the Packers, even if that means playing on special teams.
“I said, ‘I’d like to play special teams if you guys need me,’” Driver said. “The thing is when you’ve played this long in your career, they don’t think that a veteran guy wants to play because sometimes it’s like a kick in the … I didn’t think that. I didn’t think that at all.
“I looked at it as an opportunity to play and have fun. That’s what I want to do. I asked them and they said, ‘Sure.’ I’m back on it. We’ll see. We’ll see.”
There is still no guarantee that Driver will play Saturday night but at least this way the odds are stacked in his favor. It would certainly be a bit weird for Packers’ fans to watch the 14-year player line up on special teams, but if that is what it takes to see the fan favorite again then so be it.
“We’ve had conversations of late here, with part of what’s going on with him being active and inactive, and he’s handled it very well,” McCarthy said. “He’s an excellent teammate. Everybody clearly understands what he means to this organization and what he’s done. He’s out there preparing every day, getting ready to play. He may have an opportunity this week; we’ll see how it shakes down.”
McCarthy has admitted that it has not been an easy decision to sideline one of the greatest players in the history of the organization with another trip to the Super Bowl on the line. However, that is the exact reason why Driver has not been playing as of late. McCarthy has gone with different players that he believes will give Green Bay the best chance to win. If you ask Driver, he would not mind staying inactive as long as he gets one more ring before he retires.
The good news for Driver is that he may get an opportunity to line up as a wide receiver as well after Jarrett Boykin was ruled out against the 49ers with an ankle injury.
Driver has hauled in eight receptions for 77 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games this season. More importantly, he has continued to add to his franchise records of all-time receptions (743) and receiving yards (10,137).