Wynn delivers in must-win game

Without taking a snap with the offense all week, running back DeShawn Wynn goes from the practice squad to delivering the key block on the game's big play.

By offensive coordinator Joe Philbin's recollection, DeShawn Wynn took exactly zero snaps with the offense during practice last week.

That alone made the running back an unlikely candidate to be the unsung hero in a gotta-have victory at Seattle on Sunday.

Wynn wasn't supposed to be playing against the Seahawks. Brandon Jackson, as usual, was supposed to be Ryan Grant's backup. Rookie Kregg Lumpkin, who took Wynn's roster spot, was supposed to be back as the No. 3.

Instead, Lumpkin reinjured his ailing hamstring during Thursday's practice and was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Saturday, earning Wynn an elevation from the practice squad. Then, Jackson became ill before the game.

So, Wynn went from the practice squad to a key if unnoticed figure on Sunday.

With the Packers and Seahawks at a 10-10 standstill in what basically was an elimination game between preseason favorites in the NFC, Aaron Rodgers and the offense faced a third-and-5 from Seattle's 45-yard line. Rodgers, in the shotgun, got just enough time to hit Greg Jennings for the go-ahead touchdown because Wynn went from the left side of the formation to pick up safety Brian Russell blitzing off of the right side.

"I think if you just look at the touchdown play, the blitz pickup that he had in the game, I think that there is a great example of someone that has been here but that's taken advantage of his reps," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said on Monday. "He's done a very good job with the opponent stuff, and we're blessed just to have him ready to go in that type of situation."

Even though he started four games and scored four touchdowns last season, it came as no surprise when the Packers released the oft-injured Wynn among their first round of cuts in August. It was a big surprise, however, when Wynn resurfaced on the practice squad a week later.

Perhaps the fall from grace made an impact on Wynn, who had been criticized for his lack of toughness and questionable work habits.

"If you recall the decision to move on," McCarthy said, "the only negative that I would say about DeShawn was his availability, and that factored into the decision of him being released at that time. He has come back and has done a great job. He competes and he does all of the little things."

Wynn, who on Sunday didn't carry the ball and had one reception for 7 yards, hasn't missed a practice since the regular season began. Without taking a rep all week, Wynn picked up a full-speed-ahead Russell and shoved him aside to give Rodgers the window he needed for the game's big play.

"He's come back these six weeks and handled his job very professionally," Philbin said. "Giving excellent effort on the field in practice. It's nice to see that a guy that gives kind of effort gets to see some dividends on a Sunday afternoon."

Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and PackerReport.com. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com

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