Donald Driver is in his 14th season with the Green Bay Packers. He is the team’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards and was part of a Super Bowl championship in 2011. Throughout the mid-2000s, Driver was one of the most productive players on the team. But over the past few seasons, age has caught up to the four-time Pro Bowler.
Driver has only caught eight passes this season and has not recorded a catch since Nov. 18. He was inactive for the Packers’ playoff win over the Minnesota Vikings last weekend, but the 37-year-old has refused to complain. In fact, he’s even willing to contribute on special teams this weekend against the San Francisco 49ers if it means helping the team win.
“I said, ‘I’d like to play special teams if you guys need me,’” Driver told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “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.”
Driver remains unsure if he will be active this weekend, but head coach Mike McCarthy applauded the way he has handled himself like a professional.
“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.”
It can’t be easy for a player that was once at the top of the food chain to watch younger guys pass him by, but Driver has dealt with it better than most others would in his position. If the Packers go on to win a Super Bowl, I’m sure he’ll consider his patience extremely worthwhile.
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