Charles Woodson

The Green Bay Packers will be getting a difference maker back on defense for their third matchup with Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings. Safety Charles Woodson has been cleared by doctors to play.

Woodson suffered a broken collarbone in October and missed the Packers final nine games. Although he was expected to return in week 15 against Chicago and practiced that week, the team’s medical staff wouldn’t clear him.

It’s possible they were erring on the side of caution and for the most part, the Packers secondary played fine without Woodson. However, the defense got gashed by Peterson in both meetings with the Vikings.

Peterson ran for 409 yards in those two games.

Woodson is one of the best defensive backs in the league against the run and one of the Packers strongest run defenders.

Should we expect the Packers to shut Peterson down on Saturday? No, but they’re a lot better off with Woodson in the lineup.

It would have been nice if he would have been able to get some game action before the playoffs though. If anyone can come back and play at a high level immediately, it’s a future Hall of Famer like Woodson, but it’s reasonable to think someone who hasn’t played in nine weeks will have at least a little rust.