Notebook: Could Driver still play at 38? James Jones thinks he might want to

Jul. 27, 2013

Loading Photo Galleries ...

Recently retired Green Bay Packers receiver Donald Driver pauses after getting emotional during a dedication ceremony on June 15 for the Donald Driver receiver statue and the renaming of a portion of Pearl Street to 'Donald Driver Way' outside Titletown Brewing Co. in downtown Green Bay. / Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media
Green Bay Packers receiver James Jones (89) during training camp practice Friday at Ray Nitschke Field. / Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media

Injury report

New injuries: WR Sederrik Cunningham (wrist), WR Charles Johnson (knee, dropped out), WR Kevin Dorsey (lower body, dropped out).
Still out: RB DuJuan Harris (knee), S Sean Richardson (neck), CB Casey Hayward (hamstring), CB Davon House (illness), S Chaz Powell (foot), LB Jamari Lattimore (illness), OL JC Tretter (ankle), DL Mike Neal (abdominal), OT Derek Sherrod (leg), DL Jerel Worthy (knee).
Returned: None.


In late June, James Jones went to Houston to spend some time with recently retired Donald Driver and came away thinking the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver might be having some second thoughts.

Now that training camp has begun, those second thoughts apparently have increased.

“I guess he’s feeling like everybody feels; you’ve been playing football since you were 7 and now all of sudden it’s done and you kind of get those bubble guts when training camp comes around, and you want to be back out there playing,” Jones said. “So I’m assuming he wants to play, and that’s why he hasn’t turned in his papers or anything.”

Earlier this summer, an NFL source confirmed that Driver had not yet filed his retirement paperwork.

Even with injuries to three receivers — rookies Kevin Dorsey, Charles Johnson and Sederrik Cunningham — in the first two days of training camp, it’s highly unlikely the Packers would be interested in bringing Driver back for a 15th season, especially considering how limited his role was in 2012 (8 catches for 77 yards). Driver, the team’s career receiving leader, retired in February less than two weeks after he turned 38.

“He tells me everyday how he’s staying in shape,” Jones said. “And I tell him every day, ‘Why did you retire? If you still wanted to play, you should’ve tried to play. Don’t let nobody walk you away from the game if you can still try to play.’

“But at the time, 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 and me and (general manager) Ted (Thompson) and (coach) Mike (McCarthy) and everybody was on the same page.”

As recently as his charity softball game in June, Driver said he would come back if the Packers were interested.

Matthews favors HGH testing

One day after Aaron Rodgers voiced his approval for a human growth hormone testing policy, four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews did likewise.

“Absolutely. I’ve been in favor of that for a long time now,” Matthews said. “I’m glad it looks like we’re finally taking steps in the right direction to even the playing field. I know a lot of players have come out in favor of it. I’m looking forward to it.”

HGH testing in the NFL has been a hot-button issue since the league and its players association came to an agreement on its collective bargaining agreement in 2011.

As teams have reconvened for training camp this past week, it’s led to many players — mostly notably Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson — stepping forward to voice their approval for the implementation of a testing procedure.

“Speaking to my father about it when he played and they leveled the playing field back in the day,” Matthews said. “It’s always interesting to see the players who maintain their level of play and those who fall off. I also think it’s a step in the right direction in regard to sports in general.”

Cunningham surgery

Rookie receiver Cunningham underwent surgery Friday for a dislocated wrist only hours after getting tied up with cornerback Micah Hyde and coming down hard on his left hand during the first day of camp.

Cunningham, 24, didn’t appear at Saturday’s practice, but sported a sling and heavily bandaged arm in the locker room.

Many of his teammates asked Saturday if he was going to have surgery, not aware it had already taken place on Friday afternoon, finishing around 4:30 p.m.

Cunningham said he was back in his dorm on the campus of St. Norbert College by around 6.

“It was just a freak accident,” said Cunningham, one of 11 receivers on the roster. “When I was falling, my arms popped out and kind of bent. What happened was the left arm hit before anything else did, so my body and everything else fell on top of that all at the same time.”

Neither Cunningham nor McCarthy provided a timetable for recovery, but it presents a roadblock in his bid to make the team as an undrafted rookie.

Extra points

■ Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier met with Greg Jennings on Saturday about toning down his verbal jabs directed at Rodgers and his former team, according to’s Kevin Seifert.

Since leaving Green Bay for a five-year deal with the Vikings this offseason, the 29-year-old receiver has been critical of Rodgers and his leadership in the locker room.

What began as seemingly playful jabbing hit fever pitch over the last month during interviews with ESPN’s “First Take” and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune where Jennings voiced his discontent with the shadow Rodgers cast over of the team.

“That’s not something that we’re high on,” Frazier told Seifert. “He and I are going to talk before we practice (Saturday afternoon). I’ve got to grab him. That’s not how we do things. We’ll talk. We’re going to talk about it. He has strong feelings regarding his former team, and that’s good. But there is a way to get that communicated, and we’ve got to sit down and he and I have got to talk a little bit.”

■ Still out for at least a week with a knee injury, DuJuan Harris isn’t afraid of falling behind in the team’s suddenly cluttered backfield competition.

In fact, the 5-foot-8, 203-pound running back still sees himself as the starter, but knows he’ll have to work to retain those honors once he’s healthy.

“Yeah, I do, but I’m taking it one day at a time,” Harris said. “I’m definitely going to get out there. The game is all about competition, so that’s definitely what it’s going to be and I’m ready for all of it.”

■ The kicking competition between Mason Crosby and Giorgio Tavecchio will take place every other practice day throughout training camp, McCarthy confirmed Saturday.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
579 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
862 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
1025 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
1279 votes

Catch up on the latest in our pregame show every game day.

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports


Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports