Packers' Woodson Cleared to Return for Wild Card Round

Packers' Woodson cleared to return for Wild Card Round

1/2/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Blog Photo - Packers' Woodson Cleared to Return for Wild Card RoundGreen Bay Packers' defensive back Charles Woodson has been cleared to play in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, in which the Packers will be facing the Minnesota Vikings.

Woodson has been sidelined with a broken collarbone since October 21st, and has taken much longer to get healthy than his original timetable (six weeks) suggested. There will likely be some rust for the 36 year old veteran to shake off, so he will probably be included only in specific defensive packages. What is encouraging, however, is that Woodson has been doing real defensive work, rather than easing in with the scout team defense.

Woodson - an All-Pro in two of the previous three seasons and a Pro Bowler in four straight - hadn't quite been himself previous to his injury, notching just 25 tackles, one interception, and five passes defended through seven games, but even a declining Woodson is better than many of the starting defensive backs in this league. His playoff experience, in particular, should be a nice boost for the Packers' young secondary. Woodson has been to the playoffs seven times as a pro with two different teams. His leadership ability and calm attitude in big moments is useful for any unit.

"I just think having Charles Woodson back helps out our football team," said head coach Mike McCarthy. "His experience, play-making ability - glad to have him back on the field."

The Packers will once again have to deal with Adrian Peterson this weekend, and they haven't fared too well in defending him this season - Peterson has gone off for 409 yards rushing and three touchdowns in two games against Green Bay. Woodson is a very solid run defender and tackler for a defensive back, so he should aid in containing the NFL's best running back.

If the Packers can make a decent playoff run, Woodson should get more and more involved each week, which would be a great boost for his team.
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