Other players with the resume of Donald Driver might have made far more of a stink.
But the Packers veteran wide receiver has refused to make a spectacle of himself as he’s fallen down the offensive pecking order, and has even volunteered to play special teams if it gets him a uniform this weekend.
“I said, ‘I’d like to play special teams if you guys need me,’ ” Driver said, via Tyler Dunne of 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.”
The 37-year-old wide receiver was inactive for last week’s playoff win over the Vikings, and hasn’t caught a pass since Nov. 18.
It’s not exactly Dancing with the Stars, but it’s also hard to figure what the Packers should do with him, as they have plentiful options at receiver.
Driver might retire, though he’s said recently he thinks he can still play. But his more immediate concern is being allowed to contribute.
“I think I will be activated,” Driver said. “We’ll see.”
“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,” Packers coach Mike 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.”
Seeing Driver having to plead for the chance to run down kicks is mostly sad, but it’s also pragmatic. The Packers have better options in the passing game, and younger legs to run down kicks.
But any player who has served as dutifully as he has deserves the chance to go out on his terms, even if they aren’t ideal.