GREEN BAY, Wis. — Charles Woodson has been cleared to play again, and the Green Bay Packers are counting on the defensive back to provide a lift in Saturday night's playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Woodson deferred to team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie and gave his broken collarbone as much time to heal as possible, sitting out Sunday's regular-season finale at Minnesota. He was injured on Oct. 21 and has missed nine consecutive games.
But now that the Packers are in win-or-go-home mode, Woodson is back.
"Charles has been a stud in this league for 15 years, so whenever he's on the field with us, he's always a huge threat," inside linebacker A.J. Hawk said after practice Tuesday evening. "Not only is he a threat to make huge plays throughout the game, but quarterbacks, I think they know where he's at every single play. He seems to know what receivers are running before they do. And I think he has an intimidation factor as well.
"Every team we play has to respect him."
Playing without Woodson each time, Green Bay split its two regular-season games against Minnesota. But Vikings star Adrian Peterson had two strong performances against the Packers, rushing for 210 yards in Green Bay's 23-14 victory on Dec. 2 and gaining 199 yards on the ground in Minnesota's 37-34 win on Sunday at the Metrodome.
"I just think having Charles Woodson back on the field helps our football team," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.