Green Bay Packers cornerback/safety Charles Woodson was supposed to be back on the field two weeks ago and has been again declared out for the Week 17 and final regular season game in Minneapolis against the Minnesota Vikings.
Last week, I posed the question, just what is up with Charles Woodson? I guess I have to ask again. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is pinning the decision on the team doctor Patrick McKenzie, saying that the bottom line is that the doctor isn’t comfortable putting Woodson back on the field.
Sir Charles was expected to be out six weeks with the broken collarbone he suffered Oct. 21. Now it’s 10 weeks later and the 15-year veteran still isn’t back. Have the Packers missed the veteran? Not really. With the emergence of the young players (Casey Hayward, Davon House and Jarron McMillian) the Packers defense has shown a new vitality, aggressiveness and success.
Not to say that having Woodson back wouldn’t only add to the depth, but limiting the play of those young guys and taking them off the field would be a questionable move by the coaching staff – even if they are being replaced by Woodson. They have grown together and given the Packers a defensive chemistry that has given up fewer than 20 points per game for several weeks.
Many have questioned where and how Woodson would fit in with this defense and it seems that McCarthy is answering the question – on the sideline at this point. Maybe it’s just a convenient truth for McCarthy, but it seems he’s already got the right players on the field and not having to make the choice to break up that chemistry is becoming a weekly convenience.
I can’t imagine that McCarthy wouldn’t want to have Woodson back, but at this point the real answer won’t come again until next week when the Packers have to make a choice for the Playoffs. The fact that the Packers haven’t put Woodson on injured reserve says they want him back … but just how soon do they want him back and where will he play?
Those are the questions that still need answering.