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Sunday, January 15, 2012
Giants-Packers: Joe Philbin's return

By Kevin Seifert


THE FOX RIVER VALLEY -- Good morning to everyone from the general vicinity of Green Bay and Lambeau Field, where the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants will play the NFL's final divisional playoff game of the weekend later Sunday afternoon. We have plenty to discuss today, starting with news that Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin appears likely to be at the game in some capacity.

Philbin was away from the team all week, as you know, after the death of his son, Michael. The funeral was Friday. Packers coach Mike McCarthy told Lesley Visser of CBS Sports that Philbin would be at Sunday's game "to participate."

Philbin typically works from the coaches' booth during games.

As we discussed Friday, I'm not sure whether the Packers will get a motivational boost from Philbin's tragedy, if it served as a distraction or if it will have no bearing on the outcome of Sunday's game. I'm guessing it's the final option, but we don't really have a precedent to work off of here.

A number of Packers players have said this game would be dedicated to the Philbin family. Saturday afternoon, Packers receiver Greg Jennings tweeted: "Game of emotions on Sun. Tweeps, need u all loud as u ever been when we take the field. Make this ur challenge. #BeGreat 4 coach Joe & his fam!"