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Packers short on receivers; Driver on speed dial

The SportsXchange

GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- As great as he is, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will not do well this season unless he has enough receivers.

Early in the second week of training camp, the Packers are already so much in need of receivers that they are talking out loud about reaching out to Donald Driver, the 38-year-old veteran who supposedly retired in February as the team's record holder in receptions and yards.

Questions about depth at wide receiver became serious in the wake of two notable veteran departures in the offseason, then more bad news came during the first week of training camp.

The Packers began this week after three consecutive days with only eight receivers on the field, which is not enough even to practice.

Undrafted rookie Sederrik Cunningham suffered a dislocated left wrist as he tried to catch a downfield pass in the first practice Friday. The injury required surgery later in the day, leaving Cunningham with a cast around the wrist, his left arm in a sling and his future with the team in doubt.

Saturday, wide receivers Charles Johnson and Kevin Dorsey, both seventh-round draft picks this year, left practice with knee and hamstring injuries, respectively. Both are sidelined indefinitely, with Johnson possibly facing a lengthy spell on the sideline pending the results of an MRI that was to be done on the knee.

The setbacks for Johnson and Dorsey come after they missed most of the team's offseason workouts because of leg injuries.

"It's devastating for me as a player because I really do want to be out there and here I go with another injury," Johnson said Saturday. "I'm back on the sidelines. I can't go out there and prove what I can do."

Dorsey and Johnson figured to be in the running for two, possibly three receiver spots behind the established trio of Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb.

The Packers bid adieu to Greg Jennings, a longtime starter and two-time Pro Bowl honoree, when he signed with the archrival Minnesota Vikings as a free agent in March. Also noticeably missing from the position room is Driver.

However, Jones said that Driver may have the itch to continue playing. Jones referenced a dialogue he had with Driver during the latter's annual charity golf outing in the Houston area a few weeks ago.

"He tells me every day how much he's staying in shape, and I tell him every day, 'Why did you retire? If you still wanted to play, you should've still tried to play. Don't let nobody walk you away from the game if you can still try to play,'" Jones said. "But, at the time (in February) he felt like he was done and didn't want to play football anymore. I talked to him in Houston, and he said, 'Man, I didn't want to play football anymore. I felt like I was done. Me and (Packers general manager) Ted (Thompson) and (head coach) Mike (McCarthy) and everybody was on the same page.'

"Now, I guess he's feeling like everybody feels when you've been playing football since you were seven and now all of a sudden it's done and you kind of get those bubble guts and stuff when training camp comes back around and you want to be back out there playing," Jones added. "I'm assuming he wants to play; that's why he hasn't turned in his (retirement) papers or anything."

Jones suggested the Packers should think about entertaining the idea of bringing Driver back if a need were to arise at receiver in the coming weeks.

"As of right now, I hope our young guys get healthy," Jones said. "I'm a big fan of D-Drive, but that's for them to talk about upstairs, man. If I was a GM and stuff, I would've brought a bunch of players in here if people got hurt. But, Ted believes in everybody in this locker room, and so does Mike, so you've got to give them guys a chance to get healthy."

--Team correspondents for The Sports Xchange contributed material for this story.
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