NFC North: Howard Green

Super XLV: Where are they now?

February, 6, 2014
Feb 6
6:30
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Exactly three years ago -- on Feb. 6, 2011 -- the Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XLV.

Since then, much has happened to the 53 players who were on the roster for that 31-25 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Arlington, Texas.

Free agency, injuries, retirement and declining performance cause roster turnover.

Still, it’s eye-opening that from the group that suited up for the Packers’ last championship, only 12 players (just 22.6 percent) remain under contract with the team for 2014. Another 11 are still officially members of the Packers, but have contracts that expire next month. There are 13 players with other NFL teams, and 17 are out of football -- perhaps for good.

Here’s a look at the status of every player who was on the active roster three years ago today at Super Bowl XLV:

Under contract for 2014

  • [+] EnlargeAaron Rodgers
    Wesley Hitt/Getty ImagesThree years after being named MVP of Super Bowl XLV, Aaron Rodgers is still leading the Packers.
    QB Aaron Rodgers: Threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns on the way to winning the Super Bowl XLV MVP, then won the NFL MVP award the next season. Signed a five-year, $110 million contract extension last April.
  • G Josh Sitton: Started Super Bowl XLV at right guard, but moved to left guard in 2013 and was a second-team, All-Pro selection. Signed a five-year contract extension on Sept. 2, 2011 that averages $6.75 million per season.
  • T Bryan Bulaga: Started at right tackle, but moved to left tackle last offseason. A training camp knee injury ended his 2013 season, and he now enters the final year of his rookie contract.
  • G: T.J. Lang: Served as a backup, but became the starting left guard the next season. Signed a four-year contract extension on Aug. 14, 2012 that averages $5.2 million per season. Moved to right guard last season.
  • WR Jordy Nelson: Caught nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl, and went on to post 1,000-yard receiving seasons in two of the next three years. Entering the final year of his contract in 2014.
  • OLB Clay Matthews: Forced a fumble in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl that the Packers recovered and turned into a touchdown to pad the lead. Four-time Pro Bowler signed a five-year, $66 million contract extension last April.
  • LB A.J. Hawk: Started and made seven tackles in the Super Bowl. Was released two months later, only to re-sign a more salary-cap friendly deal. Is under contract through 2015.
  • CB Tramon Williams: Broke up three passes in the Super Bowl, including the one that sealed the game on fourth-and-5 from the Steelers’ 33-yard line in the final minute. Entering the final year of his contract. Scheduled to make $7.5 million in 2014, and could be a candidate to be released or restructured despite a strong finish to last season.
  • K Mason Crosby: Made a 23-yard field goal in the game and signed a five-year, $14.75 million contract on July 29, 2011. Struggled in 2012, but bounced back last year to post his best season.
  • P Tim Masthay: Capped his first season with the Packers by averaging 40.5 yards and allowing the Steelers just 5 yards on punt returns in the game. Signed a four-year, $5.465 million contract extension on July 26, 2012.
  • LS Brett Goode: Has been the long snapper since 2008 and signed a three-year, $2.715 million contract extension on Oct. 13, 2012.
  • CB Jarrett Bush: Special teams player who was pressed into defensive duty in the game after injuries to Sam Shields and Charles Woodson, and intercepted a Ben Roethlisberger pass in the second quarter. Signed a three-year, $5.25 million contract on March 26, 2012.
Headed for free agency next month

  • RB James Starks: Started the Super Bowl and rushed for 52 yards on 11 carries. Battled injuries most of his career, and might not be re-signed.
  • WR James Jones: Caught five passes for 50 yards in the game, and signed a three-year, $9.6 million contract on Aug. 2, 2011. Caught 59 passes for a career-high 817 yards in 2013, and could be a re-signed despite his age (will turn 30 next month).
  • DT Ryan Pickett: Started the game, made two tackles and was in on the play in which Matthews forced Rashard Mendehall's fourth-quarter fumble. Played in all 16 games last season with a base salary of $5.4 million, but might be at the age (34) where the Packers let him walk.
  • DT B.J. Raji: Capped a strong 2010 postseason with a pair of tackles in the game. Finished his rookie contract in 2013, and reportedly turned down an $8 million-per-year offer last season.
  • DE C.J. Wilson: Started the game, but played only 14 snaps. Biggest impact came the night before the game, when he kept things loose in the team hotel by playing piano and leading a team sign-along. Finished his rookie contract in 2013.
  • FB John Kuhn: Played on both offense and special teams in the game. Signed a three-year, $7.5 million contract on Aug. 1, 2011.
  • CB Sam Shields: Suffered a shoulder injury in the second quarter of the game. Had his best season in 2013 while playing under the restricted free agent tender of $2.023 million. Will command a big contract either from the Packers or another team in free agency.
  • LB Robert Francois: Went back and forth from the practice squad to the active roster throughout the 2010 season, and played on special teams in the game. Played last season under a one-year, $725,000 deal, but tore his Achilles tendon on Oct. 6.
  • TE Andrew Quarless: Caught one pass for 5 yards in the game. Suffered a major knee injury the next season and missed all of 2012. Returned last season to catch 32 passes for 312 yards (both career highs) in the final year of his rookie deal.
  • QB Matt Flynn: Served as Rodgers’ backup but did not play in the Super Bowl. Left after the 2011 season as a free agent, and after stints with Seattle, Oakland and Buffalo, he returned to the Packers last season for a one-year minimum deal and played in five games after Rodgers broke his collarbone.
  • C Evan Dietrich-Smith: Was inactive for the Super Bowl. Became a starter late in 2012 and for all of 2013, when he played under the restricted free agent tender of $1.323 million deal.
With other teams

  • [+] EnlargeMcCarthy
    Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsCoach Mike McCarthy and the Packers have seen a lot of roster turnover since winning Super Bowl XLV.
    WR Greg Jennings: Started and became just the third player in team history to catch multiple touchdowns in a Super Bowl by recording touchdowns of 21 and 8 yards. Signed a five-year, $45 million contract with the Vikings last March.
  • G Daryn Colledge: Started at left guard, but left in free agency a few months later to sign a five-year, $27.5 million contract with the Cardinals. Has started every game for the Cardinals since.
  • C Scott Wells: Started at center and remained with the Packers through the 2011 season before signing a four-year, $24 million contract with the Rams. Has missed 13 games over the past two seasons because of injuries.
  • LB Desmond Bishop: Became a starter earlier in 2010 after Nick Barnett's wrist injury and made nine tackles in the Super Bowl. Also recovered the fumble that Matthews forced. Signed a four-year, $19 million contract in 2011, but was released after missing the entire 2012 season because of a hamstring injury. Signed with the Vikings last offseason, but appeared in only four games.
  • OLB Frank Zombo: Started the game and had the Packers’ only sack of Roethlisberger but battled injuries the next two years and was released. Signed with the Chiefs last year and appeared in all 16 games.
  • CB Charles Woodson: Started at cornerback, but broke his collarbone late in the second quarter and missed the remainder of the game. Played two more seasons with the Packers, who released him last year. Returned to his old team, the Raiders, and played in all 16 games last season.
  • DE Cullen Jenkins: Played 36 snaps and had a pair of quarterback pressures. Left in free agency the following year and signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Eagles, who released him after two years. Signed a three-year, $8 million contract with the Giants last season.
  • TE Tom Crabtree: Played on both offense and special teams in the Super Bowl, catching one pass. Left last year to sign with the Buccaneers as an unrestricted free agent, but was limited to seven games because of injuries.
  • CB Josh Gordy: Was inactive for the game, and the next season was signed off the practice squad the by the Rams. Spent the past two seasons with the Colts.
  • G Nick McDonald: Was inactive for the game, like he was for every game that season. Was released in training camp the next year, and spent parts of the next two seasons with the Patriots. Did not play in 2013, but was recently signed by the Chargers.
  • OLB Erik Walden: Was inactive after suffering an ankle injury in the NFC Championship Game. Played the next two seasons before signing a four-year, $16 million contract with the Colts last year.
  • DE: Jarius Wynn: Was active but did not play. Played in Green Bay through 2011, and with the Titans and Chargers before landing with the Cowboys last season.
  • FB Quinn Johnson: Inactive for the game. Was traded to the Titans in 2011. Has played in 24 games for the Titans over the past three years.
Out of football

  • T Chad Clifton: Started at left tackle, but his long career with the Packers ended when they released him after he played in only six games in 2011. Was never signed by another team.
  • WR Donald Driver: Started the game and caught two passes for 28 yards before leaving with an ankle injury in the second quarter. Retired after the 2012 season as the team’s all-time leading receiver.
  • S Nick Collins: Started and made a key early play when he returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Suffered a neck injury in Week 2 of 2011 and hasn’t played since.
  • DT Howard Green: Claimed off waivers earlier that season and started the game. His hit on Roethlisberger led to Collins’ interception return for a touchdown. Returned in 2011 and played in all 16 games, but has not played since.
  • WR Brett Swain: Posted a team-high four special teams tackles. Was released the following season and played briefly with the 49ers. Was cut in training camp last season by the Seahawks.
  • S Atari Bigby: Played on special teams. Signed with the Seahawks the following season and played in 15 games. Played in eight games with the Chargers in 2012, but did not play in 2013.
  • CB Pat Lee: Special teams player who saw action on defense after injuries to Woodson and Shields. Played one more season in Green Bay before splitting time in 2012 between the Lions and Raiders. Did not play in 2013.
  • RB Brandon Jackson: Played as the third-down back, but did not have any carries in the game. Caught one pass for 14 yards. Signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Browns in 2011, but missed all of that season and played in only two games in 2012.
  • FB Korey Hall: Caught one pass for 2 yards and made one special teams tackle in the game. He played in 13 games with the Saints in 2011, and retired after going to camp with the Cardinals in 2012.
  • S Charlie Peprah: Led the Packers with 10 tackles (including nine solo stops). Returned as a starter in 2011, when he had five interceptions, but was released shortly before training camp in 2012. Played in five games for the Cowboys in 2012.
  • LB Diyral Briggs: Made one special teams tackle in the game, but never played in another NFL game.
  • LB Matt Wilhelm: Made two special teams tackles, but seven-year career ended after that game.
  • G Jason Spitz: Played on special teams. Left in free agency the next year and signed a three-year, $4.05 million contract with the Jaguars, who released him in training camp last summer. He signed with the Seahawks, but was released on Oct. 12.
  • TE Donald Lee: Played in the game, but did not have a catch and was released two months later. Played in nine games for the Bengals in 2001.
  • QB Graham Harrell: Inactive for the game. Remained with the Packers until he was released in training camp last summer. Also spent time briefly with the Jets before being released.
  • RB Dimitri Nance: Inactive for the game. Was released by the Packers the following summer and never played in another NFL game.
  • CB Brandon Underwood: Inactive for the game. Was released in 2011. Went to camp with the Raiders in 2012 and Cowboys in 2013, but did not make either team.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers had only one injured player to monitor this week, promising more healthy scratches than usual for Sunday's divisional game against the New York Giants. In addition to injured linebacker Robert Francois, here is who the Packers deactivated Sunday afternoon:
One notable starting lineup change: As expected, the Packers will start Brad Jones at the right outside linebacker position that was manned all season by Erik Walden.

Devin Hester active for Bears

December, 25, 2011
12/25/11
7:10
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Chicago Bears will play their top rivals Sunday night without their top two running backs and appear to be bracing for limited duty from receiver/kick returner Devin Hester.

Hester is active but the Bears also have receiver Max Komar in uniform for the first time all season.

Matt Forte (knee) and Marion Barber (calf) are inactive, as expected. Kahlil Bell is expected to get his second NFL start.

The Bears also deactivated rookie quarterback Nathan Enderle, meaning that deposed starter Caleb Hanie is the only quarterback available to play in relief of new starter Josh McCown.

The Green Bay Packers will have linebacker Desmond Bishop (calf) in uniform for the first time since Thanksgiving Day. Meanwhile, defensive end Mike Neal (shoulder) is in uniform, but the Packers announced that Howard Green will start for Ryan Pickett at left defensive end and that C.J. Wilson will start at right defensive end.

The team also confirmed that T.J. Lang will start at right tackle and Evan Dietrich-Smith will start at left guard.

NFC North at night

December, 22, 2011
12/22/11
5:45
PM ET
Checking in on Thursday's newsbits in the NFC North:

Chicago Bears: Tight end Kellen Davis (back) and defensive end Julius Peppers (not injury related) returned to practice Thursday. Still missing were linebacker Lance Briggs (ankle), running back Marion Barber (calf) and kick returner/receiver Devin Hester (ankle). None have been ruled out for Sunday's game at Lambeau Field.

Detroit Lions: Cornerback Don Carey (concussion), safety Louis Delmas (knee), defensive tackle Nick Fairley (foot), defensive tackle Corey Williams (hip) and defensive end Willie Young (ankle) all missed practice. The Lions re-signed cornerback Brandon McDonald to bolster their depth as Carey's concussion lingers.

Green Bay Packers: Running backs James Starks (ankle) and Brandon Saine (concussion) participated fully in practice and should be ready to play Sunday night. Linebacker Desmond Bishop (calf) and offensive lineman Chad Clifton (hamstring/back) made it through their second consecutive day of practice. Defensive lineman Howard Green (foot) was limited in practice. Defensive end Ryan Pickett (concussion) has still not been cleared.

Minnesota Vikings: The decision by USC quarterback Matt Barkley to return to school could have an indirect impact on the Vikings. If the Vikings ultimately want to trade down from their perch atop the first round, it would have helped to have another blue-chip quarterback to increase the value of their pick. Meanwhile, cornerback Asher Allen and guard Steve Hutchinson (concussion) missed practice for the second consecutive day.
We're Black and Blue All Over:

Most of the consternation surrounding the Minnesota Vikings' offensive line has focused on the left tackle position, where newcomer Charlie Johnson has made only fits and starts of progress and most recently allowed a scary blindside sack of quarterback Donovan McNabb in Saturday's preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks.

But Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com points out another simmering issue: right guard, where the Vikings have started two different players this preseason and still aren't sure when presumptive starter Anthony Herrera will be ready to go. Herrera is nine months removed from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and predictably had a tough first few days back in practice last week.

Chris DeGeare started the first preseason game and journeyman Scott Kooistra started Saturday night.

The Vikings' first-team offense has accounted for three points in the first two preseason games. When healthy, Herrera is a feisty run-blocker who gets by on competitive juices and raw desire. It's clear the Vikings have planned for his eventual return, but the timing yet isn't clear.

Continuing around the NFC North:
  • Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press grades the Vikings at the midpoint of the preseason.
  • Vikings rookie quarterback Christian Ponder, via Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune: "I think the biggest thing has been getting used to the speed of the game and on top of that learning this offense and building team chemistry. I think the biggest adjustment is the windows aren't as open as they were in college, and you have to make the reads a lot faster and get the ball [out] a lot quicker than last year. It's an adjustment, and I'm part of that learning curve right now but it's been fun."
  • Jason Wilde's profile of Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson at ESPNMilwaukee.com includes this thought from Woodson on his coverage: "It's funny [that] people say my coverage has slipped, but they ignore everything else that I do. I mean, what else do you want me to do? I give everything I have out there on the field, and if you're sitting here telling me I'm getting beat every play [in coverage], then you're wrong. I go out there and play any way they want me to play because that's what I like to do. Sure, yeah, they could sit me out there on the edge all game. Then what? Yeah, they could waste me out there if they wanted to, but why? Then everything else drops off. The point of me doing all that other stuff is that I can go find the ball."
  • Packers quarterback Graham Harrell appears to be solidifying his hold on a roster spot, according to Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • The Packers are happy to have defensive lineman Howard Green, writes Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
  • Chicago Bears guard Lance Louis has reached the turning point of his career as a starter with the team, writes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com. A poor performance against the New York Giants on Monday night could force a lineup shift.
  • The entire offensive line will be under scrutiny Monday night, notes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
  • Kellen Davis is ready to take over as the Bears' top tight end, writes Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
  • Detroit Lions rookie receiver Titus Young returned to competitive drills for the first time since injuring his hamstring on the second day of training camp, notes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
  • Lions left tackle Jeff Backus on his return to practice after suffering a pectoral injury, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "I've worked my butt off in the training room and the weight room trying to get my chest right. It's to the point now where it's not an issue. We just move forward from here."
  • Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com breaks down Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford's 27-yard pass to tight end Brandon Pettigrew from Friday night.

BBAO: The Bears' proverbial window

January, 20, 2011
1/20/11
7:50
AM ET
We're Black and Blue All Over:

Is the Chicago Bears' longtime nucleus of defensive players facing its final chance to win a Super Bowl? That's the question asked by Melissa Isaacson of ESPNChicago.com.

And here's how linebacker Lance Briggs responded.

"No, no, I'm 30, not dead."

At some point, the reality is the Bears will have to move past the era of Briggs, Brian Urlacher, Charles Tillman and Tommie Harris. Their defense is getting older, but it might be a little early to initiate last rites.

Continuing around the NFC North:

Eagles won't have two starters

January, 9, 2011
1/09/11
3:16
PM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- There were no surprises among the Green Bay Packers' list of pregame inactives here at Lincoln Financial Field.

As expected, defensive end Cullen Jenkins (calf) is active and will play. Veteran defensive lineman Howard Green is inactive as a result.

For you James Starks cult members, the rookie running back is active.

The biggest news came from the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive line. Right guard Max Jean-Gilles (ankle) won't start. He'll give way to guard/center Nick Cole. The Eagles also won't have middle linebacker Stewart Bradley (elbow). Jamar Chaney will start for Bradley.

Once the game starts, I'll spend most of my time in our Countdown Live chat. You'll see the module appear on the blog shortly. Be there or be square.

Merrill on the Packers

December, 16, 2010
12/16/10
5:15
PM ET
Make sure you check out Elizabeth Merrill's behind-the-scenes look at the Green Bay Packers' injury-ravaged season. Excerpted below is how defensive lineman Howard Green arrived on the scene as an emergency replacement last month:
With a stack of clothes and half of his life stuffed into a Ford F-150 pickup truck, Howard Green turned away from the Manhattan skyline and pulled south. He had an 18-hour drive ahead of him, plenty of time to clear his mind. Like the Packers, Green had no idea what was coming next. He'd just been cut by the New York Jets, the third time he had been waived in two months. It was late October, not exactly the best time to be unemployed in the NFL.

Green popped open an energy drink, cranked his music and prayed. For a team to call him. For a team that needed him.

Seventeen hours into his drive, about an hour away from his hometown near Baton Rouge, La., Green's agent called. The Packers wanted him in Green Bay ASAP. They had a flight ready for him, but Green was stuck in rush-hour traffic. He ditched his truck on the side of the road and had a family member whisk him to the airport.

How I See It: NFC North Stock Watch

November, 3, 2010
11/03/10
10:00
AM ET
NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

FALLING

1. Accountability in Minnesota: Nearly 48 hours after deciding to waive receiver Randy Moss, the Minnesota Vikings have yet to produce any sort of explanation. Coach Brad Childress released a statement Monday night saying the move was in the best short- and long-term interests of the team but offered no reasons and no acknowledgment of the third-round draft pick wasted in this debacle. Childress is scheduled to speak to reporters Wednesday at about 12:30 p.m. ET, so perhaps he will shed some light then. During a Tuesday radio interview, however, Childress said that discussion should remain "in-house." I'm always amused by professional sports teams who consider themselves public trusts when they want hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars for new stadiums -- but a private business when it comes to discussing the football decisions their fans care deeply about. Playing your financiers for fools is never good business.

[+] EnlargeKreutz
Scott Boehm/Getty ImagesOlin Kreutz is the only Bears offensive lineman in the same position he was when camp broke.
2. Job security along the Chicago Bears' offensive line: When they return Sunday from their bye week, the Bears are expected to have their fifth different combination of linemen since the season started. Some of the changes have come because of injury, but some have come as the result of lineup tinkering that is probably best suited for training camp. Against the Buffalo Bills, the Bears are expected to have Chris Williams and Roberto Garza at guards, with Frank Omiyale and J'Marcus Webb at tackles. Only center Olin Kreutz will be in the same position he was when camp broke. Barring injury, don't the Bears have to stick with this group for sanity's sake?

3. Attendance at Ford Field: The Detroit Lions had some 23,000 empty seats Sunday at Ford Field for Sunday's 37-23 victory over the Washington Redskins, their first non-sellout of the season. I'm not one to make a value judgment on whether people should pay hundreds of dollars to attend a three-hour football game. But I will say it should now be obvious the Lions have their most interesting team in recent memory, one that continues to lead the NFC in average points per game and has already won two of its first three home games of the year. I'll be interested to see whether the general optimism around the Lions translates into better ticket sales as the holiday season approaches.

RISING

1. Defensive intelligence in Green Bay: Credit is due many areas of the Green Bay Packers' operation for Sunday's 9-0 victory at the New York Jets, but it would be hard for anyone to surpass the praise due defensive coordinator Dom Capers. With a mishmash of personnel in each position group, Capers found a way to notch the NFL's first shutout in 2010 and the Packers' first road shutout since 1991. Among many areas, Capers proved willing to utilize every bit of new nose tackle Howard Green's 360 pounds to close the gaps in his run defense. Green didn't join the Packers until late last week, but Capers immediately had a realistic package for him ready to go.

2. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions quarterback: Stafford bounced back from an early interception to throw four touchdown passes Sunday. We made a big deal about his interception total last season, so it's only fair that we point out he has thrown only one in his first 60 passes of the 2010 season. More importantly, Stafford displayed the gumption you want out of any rising quarterback, calmly throwing a go-ahead touchdown pass to receiver Calvin Johnson on fourth down in the fourth quarter. It will be fun to see how he matches up Sunday against another young gun of the 2009 draft, New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.

3. Steel prices in Minnesota: There shouldn't be much supply remaining after quarterback Brett Favre seemingly bought it all up and used it for armor in the Vikings' 28-18 loss to the New England Patriots. Favre's performance has largely been overshadowed by the Moss mess, but I thought he played his best game of the year despite two fractures in his left foot. And I still can't believe how lucid he was during a postgame news conference, about an hour after he appeared nearly unconscious following a fourth-quarter chin shot. He's the Bionic Man, although with inflation the cost has gone from $6 million to $16 million.
The Green Bay Packers will have one of their two starting defensive ends for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

Cullen Jenkins (calf) is active and expected to play. But Ryan Pickett (ankle) is inactive, meaning C.J. Wilson will start in his place. New defensive linemen Mike Mongtomery and Howard Green are both active.

Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions will have middle linebacker DeAndre Levy in the starting lineup for only the second time this season. Ashlee Palmer will start at outside linebacker for the injured Zack Follett.
We're Black and Blue All Over:

Thursday, I threw out this thought on Twitter: "Will keep saying it. Childress, not foot, is Favre's biggest obstacle." So goes the prevailing sentiment about how the Minnesota Vikings will determine if quarterback Brett Favre will play Sunday against the New England Patriots.

The Star Tribune reports that while Favre thinks he can play with two fractures in his left foot, coach Brad Childress is leaning toward sitting him and starting Tarvaris Jackson. Childress has said several times that his job sometimes calls for him to protect people from themselves, a reference to Favre perhaps being blinded by his history and not realizing how hurt he is. But Childress is also well-known to be upset with Favre's 14 turnovers and tendency to veer from the offensive scheme this season.

This could all change Friday, the day Favre has targeted to return in some form to practice. By doing so, Favre could remove all doubt about this weekend -- one way or the other -- by his Friday performance. I know some of you aren't thrilled with how heavy we've covered this story, but to me it's a pretty big deal when a quarterback could potentially miss his first start in 292 games -- especially when we don't know if it will be because of injury or a coach's decision.

Continuing around the NFC North:
Don't worry. I've sent a whole package of "Hello, my name is _______" stickers to the Green Bay Packers locker room.

The Packer added their veteran in two days Wednesday afternoon by claiming nose tackle Howard Green off waivers from the New York Jets. Green will join the trio of linebackers the Packers also acquired as they desperately try to rebuild their depth following a spate of injuries.

Green took the roster spot of linebacker Brad Jones, whom the Packers placed on injured reserve a few hours after coach Mike McCarthy revealed he had a significant shoulder injury. Jones is the 11th player the Packers have lost for the season because of injury.

Green, 31, will provide some depth for a defensive line that could be without Ryan Pickett (ankle) and Cullen Jenkins (calf) on Sunday against the New York Jets. Neither player practiced Wednesday.

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