It's different. The Playoffs are here and you could tell from the excitement level in the locker room on our first visit since the Chicago Bears victory, not to mention the fact the likes of ESPN's Kenny Mayne, the NFL Network, Philadelphia TV stations and newspaper reporters swelled the usual mid-week media numbers. The Packers meet the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field at 3:30 Sunday in the 4th and final NFL Wild Card contest of the weekend.
The medical news to start the week was encouraging. Cullen Jenkins practiced today on a limited basis with a calf strain that has forced him to miss a month. Mike McCarthy said they'll continue to monitor Jenkins and make a decision late in the week. Atari Bigby (groin) and Frank Zombo (knee) were the only two players who did not participate today. Limited in practice were Chad Clifton (knees), Nick Collins (ribs), Korey Hall (knee) and Clay Matthews (shin). Full participants included Charles Woodson (toe) and Ryan Pickett (ankle). In Philly, spoke with Michael Vick via a conference call this afternoon and he practiced coming off a quad bruise suffered on the first play of the Minnesota Vikings game a week and a day ago. He, along with several other veterans sat out the Dallas finale but Vick said it felt great and he's ready to go Sunday.
I visited with Desmond Bishop for the first time since signing his new 4 year, 19 million dollar contract. He said it was clearly a career highlight adding, "I'm not going to lie, I didn't think I would ever get this kind of opportunity", but he certainly has made the most of it, piling up 121 tackles in just 11 starts, finishing second behind AJ Hawk in tackles.
In just his second career start, Erik Walden, a street free agent cut by three other NFL teams, pulled in the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award for his 11 tackle, 2 sack effort against the Bears last Sunday. A remarkable achievement for a guy just hoping to stick on an NFL roster two months ago, and the 4th different starter at outside linebacker for the Packers this season.