Rookie moves up the ladder

Marcus Wilkins officially moved ahead of Jamal Reynolds on the depth chart when he was activated for Green Bay's game against the New England Patriots last Sunday. In the process, the rookie made the most of his opportunity.<p>

Meanwhile, Reynolds watched the game in street clothes as the Packers went on to a 28-10 victory.

Packers coach and GM Mike Sherman said his decision to activate Wilkins was based on his special teams ability. Wilkins is tied with Tod McBride for second on the team with eight special teams tackles through six games. Matt Bowen leads the team with nine special teams tackles.

But Wilkins, listed as a linebacker, also has displayed much better pass-rushing skills than Reynolds, the team's top draft pick last year (10th overall). Thus far, Reynolds has been a bust with the Packers, but the team cannot release or trade him because of salary cap implications.

"Obviously he's undersized to be going against the big guys, but he does present some problems from a speed standpoint, chasing down the screens, draws, and hopefully pressuring the quarterback. We're going to continue to utilize him at different times. ... You've got to be able to rest your guys, and he gives you a chance to put speed on the field and rest your other players," Sherman said.

Wilkins had five special teams tackles against the Patriots. He was inacti ve for the first three games this season. He made the team in training camp as an undrafted free agent.


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