Rookie Aaron Kampman is still listed as the starter at 'power' defensive end, but Packers GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman indicated Saturday that fifth-year veteran Vonnie Holliday would see his first game action in six weeks Monday night against Miami.
Holliday has been sidelined since tearing a pectoral muscle against the Detroit Lions, Sept. 22.
Although the movement of Holliday's right arm will be somewhat limited by a protective brace, his return couldn't have come at a better time for the Packers, who are faced with trying to slow down the NFL's fourth-leading rusher in Ricky Williams.
"He has a physical presence," Sherman said of Holliday. "I believe he is one of the best run-stopping defensive ends in football."
Sherman did not speculate how many snaps Holliday would be able to play Monday, saying instead that they would play it by ear and see how the injury reacts to live contact.
With Miami quarterback Ray Lucas coming off a four-interception, two-fumble game in what was his first start since 1999, the Dolphins are likely to entrust the offense to Williams, who Sherman believes will pose perhaps the biggest running challenge of the season thus far for the Green and Gold. Certainly, he's the most dangerous runner the Packers have faced since Deuce McAllister, who tallied 123 yards in the Packers' only defeat of the season back in Week Two.
"He's a power guy that certainly runs the ball between the tackles very well, but is also very elusive from a speed standpoint," Sherman said of Williams. "He can dip inside and duck outside as good as anybody. That really concerns me as much as anything, because you over-commit to stopping the run between the tackles and all of a sudden he's outside on the perimeter and your corners are trying to tackle him . . .
"Deuce McAllister was a challenge, but Ricky Williams, because I firmly believe that they are going to try and run the ball against us a lot, this will be a tremendous challenge for us."
Sherman said the Packers' run defense has displayed signs of improvement throughout the season, but that Holliday would help "shore things up."
"When you can go with Vonnie, Gilbert (Brown) and Cletidus (Hunt), you have some pretty good size to help you," he said.