Driver ready to make Packers history

October, 15, 2009
10/15/09
12:32
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert


This isn’t breaking news in Wisconsin, but I wonder how many people around the division are aware of the significant event that almost certainly will take place Sunday at Lambeau Field.
 Driver


Green Bay receiver Donald Driver is one catch away from breaking the franchise’s all-time record for career receptions. A seventh-round pick who slipped onto the team in 1999, Driver has averaged 77 receptions per season since 2002 and has matched Sterling Sharpe’s career record of 595.

(And lest you think we’re jinxing things, Driver has caught a pass in 115 consecutive games. I’m feeling pretty good about his chances Sunday against Detroit.)

“I would never have predicted it,” Driver told Wisconsin reporters this week. “In a million years, if someone said, ‘Well Donald, [a] seventh-round draft pick, you’re going to be the all-time leading receiver for the Packers,’ you would have never thought that would happen. To be this close to it, it means a lot. I think when it’s all said and done and the record is broken, I’ll be happy to put my name above Sterling for once in a lifetime. Not on everything, but at least I can say I got him on that one.”

Driver and Sharpe are close friends and spoke last week about the impending milestone. Driver hopes to keep himself together during the game -- “You don’t want on the first play of the game to be crying,” he said -- but isn’t downplaying the significance of the accomplishment.

“When I get home,” he said, “it will probably hit me then.”

Driver, 34, remains a vital part of the Packers' offense, leading the team this season in receptions (18), yards (288) and touchdowns (two). In fact, he made a one-handed catch Sept. 27 at St. Louis that he said might be the most memorable of his career.

“That’s the one I’ll probably never forget,” he said. “I still don’t know how I caught it.”

In the chart below, you’ll see the Packers’ top-5 all-time receivers.
Most receptions in Packers history
Rec. Player Years
595 Sterling Sharpe
1988-1994
595 Donald Driver 1999-present
530 James Lofton 1978-1986
488 Don Hutson 1935-1945
448 Boyd Dowler 1959-1969

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