GREEN BAY, Wis. — Donald Driver stood on the sideline with his helmet on throughout the Packers’ Week 1 loss, just waiting to get called onto the field. But as Green Bay’s offense went through its first nine drives against the San Francisco 49ers, Driver could only watch and wait.
Driver, the Packers’ all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards, finally got in on the final drive of the game. However, that only happened because Greg Jennings waved himself off the field following a deep pass route.
With Jennings out, either for rest or an undisclosed injury, Driver played the last three snaps of the game, none of which were passes thrown his way.
Driver’s situation was not addressed by coach Mike McCarthy after the game.
Driver, 37, is in his 14th NFL season after being drafted in the seventh round by the Packers in 1999.
From 2004 to 2009, Driver had six consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 yards receiving. But in the past two years combined, he has barely surpassed 1,000 yards total. Last season, Driver’s 445 yards receiving was his lowest amount in more than a decade, dating back to when he had 167 yards in 2001.
Driver spent much of his offseason competing on “Dancing with the Stars,” which he eventually won and gained a lot of fame for outside of football.
Even though the Packers have plenty of weapons at wide receiver, general manager Ted Thompson still restructured Driver’s contract to bring him back to Green Bay for at least one more year.
When Driver reported for training camp, he stated repeatedly that he wanted to play until he was 40 years old and felt like he had a lot left to offer the Packers offense.
But after one game, it seems like McCarthy has different plans, with Driver being the fifth receiver on the depth chart — or even sixth, considering tight end Jermichael Finley frequently plays the wideout position.