The 2007 regular-season finale at home against the Detroit Lions, a game in which the playoff-bound Packers had nothing to play for and thus rested several starters, was a coming-out performance for Brandon Jackson.
The then-rookie running back, who had opened the season as a starter but quickly fizzled in part because of a shin injury, ran 20 times for 113 yards in extended playing time.
Fast forward to the Packers' season-ending game Sunday, also at home against the Lions, and DeShawn Wynn could become the man of the three-hour affair in Green Bay's backfield. Thanks to a sprained wrist that seemingly will keep Jackson out a second straight game, Wynn is in line to get some uncommon exposure backing up Grant.
"I look for him to maybe get some more opportunities on Sunday," coach Mike McCarthy said.
Just a few rushing opportunities in the meaningless game for the 5-10 Packers would be a significant occurrence this season for Wynn, a onetime starter as a rookie last year who fell out of favor in the preseason this year because of injuries and was cut before the season started.
The Packers kept Wynn, a seventh-round draft pick, around to spend the first five weeks on the practice squad, then put him back on the 53-man roster. He has held down the No. 3 halfback role since then but been activated for only four games.
With Jackson inactive last week because of a sprained wrist, Wynn got his one and only carry of the season in Monday night's overtime loss at the Chicago Bears. He made the most of it with a 4-yard gain to convert a fourth-and-1 play.
Although Grant will make the start Sunday, there's no telling how much he will play. In what could serve as a jump-start to next season — a la what happened to Jackson at this time last year heading into the 2008 season — Wynn might handle a heavy load for the first time since he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury at Denver in October 2007. It was the last of four straight starts for Wynn and paved the way for Grant to emerge as a rushing phenom the second half of last season.
Jackson was limited in practice for the second straight day on Thursday and is no better than questionable to play Sunday.
— DT Justin Harrell will finish the season in a familiar spot — on the sideline. Harrell was ruled out for Sunday's finale against the Detroit Lions on Thursday after he suffered another setback with his back and hip in practice Wednesday. Harrell spent the first half of the season on the PUP list after undergoing two surgeries for a herniated disk in his lower back. He played in six straight games but had lingering complications with the hip and will wind up missing the last three games of the season. More surgery is possible in the offseason, he said.
— WR Donald Driver was a full participant in practice Thursday after being held out the previous day to rest a bruised knee he sustained in Monday night's overtime loss at the Chicago Bears. Driver needs 99 receiving yards for a fifth straight 1,000-yard season.
— WR Greg Jennings also went through the entire practice Thursday after being limited Wednesday as he recovered from a mild concussion incurred in the previous game.
— CB Al Harris was a full participant Thursday after not practicing Wednesday because of an illness.
— G Jason Spitz was a limited participant for the second straight day because of a knee injury sustained in the last game. Spitz played the entire game, so the injury isn't considered serious. If he plays, he'll line up at left guard because of the Packers' reshuffled offensive line.
Jackson's pain may be Wynn's gain
Packer Report Top Stories
Packers-Falcons: The Losing NumbersThe Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl aspirations went up in smoke against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the carnage.
Packer Report11:10 AM
Ryan, Predictably, Incinerated PackersThe Green Bay Packers' cornerbacks were outgunned throughout the season and it was no different in Sunday's NFC Championship Game, with third-and-long being nothing more than a…
Packer Report8:57 AM
Podcast: Packers Crushed in Championship GamePacker Report's Bill Huber and Keith Roerdink offer their postgame analysis of the Green Bay Packers' loss to the Atlanta Falcons in Sunday's NFC Championship Game at the Georgia…
Packer ReportYesterday at 9:39 PM
Watch: Packers-Falcons HighlightsThe Green Bay Packers took on the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL Championship Game. The results? Not good. Watch if you dare.
Packer ReportYesterday at 8:48 PM