Vintage Film Helps House Return from Injury

Last week, Davon House wondered how he'd be able to play his style with a partially dislocated shoulder protected by a harness. This week's practice has alleviated some of his concerns, as did some film study of a player who had a remarkable season with his shoulder in a harness.

Faced with wearing a harness to protect a partially dislocated shoulder, Davon House watched some vintage Charles Woodson film.

In 2006, Woodson's first season in Green Bay, he wore a harness on an injured shoulder for much of the year. All Woodson did was intercept a then-career-high eight passes, break up a career-high 26 passes, force three fumbles and average 8.9 yards on 41 punt returns.

"He's a unique player,' House, still shivering from a dip in the cold tub, told Packer Report after Thursday's practice. "You can't really notice that he had the sling on because he's just out there relentless and making plays at a high level. That's my attitude now: Regardless of if I have to wear a sling, I'm still going to make plays."

House sustained the injury during the preseason game at San Diego on Aug. 9. He missed the rest of the preseason and has been listed as limited participation at both practices this week. He said he'll learn on Friday whether he'll be allowed to play in Sunday's season-opening game against San Francisco.

"There's great value in having Davon back out there because he was having such a strong training camp," coach Mike McCarthy said. "He's getting more and more comfortable being out there, going through some of the drills. Tried to do a little more with him today because he was in pads. Hopefully he keeps progressing."

Discussing the injury at length last week, House feared he wouldn't be able to play his style of football — aggressive bump-and-run at the line of scrimmage to reroute the receiver. Tramon Williams played with a shoulder harness for the final 14 games of last season and struggled in comparison to his breakout 2010 campaign. If Williams couldn't play to his potential with a harness, despite his superior quickness, how could House be effective without being able to rely on his strength, he wondered aloud.

"He has way better feet than me, so he can press with his feet and just run with the guy," House said on Aug. 27. "With me, every time I'm pressing, I've got to get hands on them. It's going to be difficult."

That's why he turned to Woodson. In terms of coverage style, Woodson and House share the same approach. Woodson's play gave House some hope, and his two days on the practice field have only increased his optimism.

"I feel a lot better about it," House said. "Today, I didn't really cover anyone but when we were doing our individual drills, I had to shadow (Jarrett Bush) a little bit. Throwing my arm, I felt good. I didn't really feel any pain at all. Joe (Whitt, the cornerbacks coach) said it looked good, too."

After missing the final three preseason games and not having a full day of in-pads work to truly test the shoulder, could House play at a high level on Sunday?

"I feel like I can contribute in some way, somehow," he said. "If it's special teams or if I'm coming in in the dime or nickel, I feel like I can improve the team. But if I'm not healthy, I'm not going to throw myself out there and hurt the team."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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