Charles Woodson returns to the Green Bay Packers’ lineup, just in time to help their defense figure out a way to contain Minnesota Vikings running back extraordinaire, Adrian Peterson, in Sunday night’s first-round NFC playoff game.
Peterson rushed for 210 yards and 199 yards, respectively, in the two games the teams played Green Bay this season, games in which Woodson missed among the nine he was sidelined with a broken collarbone suffered October 21.
The future Hall of Fame safety is a smart veteran and sound tackler whose presence, his team hopes, will provide a way to slow the NFL’s leading rusher. Woodson is not big enough to bring down the hard-running Peterson by himself, but his presence can make a big difference.
‘(Woodson) helps us in every aspect of the game, just his experience,” cornerback Tramon Williams said. ”No doubt about it, obviously he’s a great player from the start, but with that experience, we know he’s going to be in the position he’s supposed to be in, we know he’s going to be looking to make a play. You can be aggressive yourself because you know you have a guy back there you can trust.”
Added linebacker A.J. Hawk: “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 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.”
Woodson has not spoken recently about returning to the field. But his teammates seem to believe his play will do the talking come Sunday.
”This defense is based off disguising and things like that, so Charles has been so experienced so he knows how long to hold a disguise, and he’s not scared to do it,” Williams said. ”It’s definitely going to help us in the long run.”