Freeman: 'We need each other'

Receiver Antonio Freeman's return to Green Bay continues to deliver an interesting plotline. His decision, which culminated in his appearance on the Packers' practice Wednesday afternoon, was almost derailed by Green Bay's next opponent as well as the receiver's own doubts.<p>

Meeting the media after Wednesday's practice, Freeman said that he spent a sleepless night pondering how he would fit in back where he played seven of his eight pro seasons.

"For the first time in my life, I was confused," Freeman said. "I never envisioned myself coming back."

Then he summed up the situation:

"We need each other right now."

The Packers turned to Freeman in a hurry after fourth quarter injuries in Sunday's opener cost them their two starting wide receivers indefinitely. Donald Driver suffered a neck injury while Robert Ferguson sprained knee and ankle ligaments in the loss to Minnesota.

Sometime between the time Freeman's phone rang and the time he signed his one-year deal with the Packers, the Detroit Lions stepped in and made a bid for the 31-year-old receiver's services. According to Milwaukee's WTMJ-TV, Lions' brass were contacting Freeman on his cell phone in Green Bay trying to convince him to change his mind.

One man who's not confused by the goings on is quarterback Brett Favre. The QB expressed his support of the acquisition and confidence in the receiver with whom he formed one of the most prolific duos in NFL history.

"He was never the tallest, never the fastest, never caught the ball with his hands," Favre said of Freeman. "But somehow he caught the ball."

Freeman's best days with the Packers came during the Super Bowl seasons of 1996 and 1997 plus a career-best season here in 1998. Five years later, is Freeman still a force? 'Free' says yes, although now he's banking that the wisdom he has gained will replace the steps he has lost.

"As you get older, you lose things. You lose hair, you lose speed," Freeman said. "But I know the game."

Freeman is expected to start opposite Javon Walker as the Packers take on Detroit at Lambeau Field Sunday.


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