Notebook: Wynn Handles Emergency Duty

In the span of just a couple of days, running back DeShawn Wynn went from toiling on the practice squad, to getting on the plane for Seattle, to throwing maybe the biggest block during the Packers’ 27-17 win over the Seahawks on Sunday. - More Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Oct. 13


In the span of just a couple of days, running back DeShawn Wynn went from toiling on the practice squad, to getting on the plane for Seattle, to throwing maybe the biggest block during the Packers' 27-17 win over the Seahawks on Sunday.

An unusual set of circumstances created the chain of events. First, third-string running back Kregg Lumpkin returned to practice last Thursday from an injured hamstring but badly re-aggravated the injury. So on Saturday, Lumpkin was placed on season-ending injured reserve and Wynn was elevated from the practice squad to the active roster.

Then, later Saturday while the team was in Seattle, No. 2 running back Brandon Jackson got sick, suffering through a sleepless night with flu-like symptoms. Suddenly, come Sunday morning, Wynn was Ryan Grant's primary backup and handling the third-down role, putting him on the field for the first time since last Oct. 29, when a shoulder injury in Denver ended his rookie season.

And if that wasn't enough, Wynn was a key player on the Packers' go-ahead touchdown pass in the third quarter at Qwest Field. Facing a crucial third-and-6 from the Seattle 45-yard line, the Packers had to pick up a Seahawks blitz, and Wynn stoned safety Brian Russell, giving quarterback Aaron Rodgers just enough time to loft a perfect TD toss to Greg Jennings for a 17-10 lead.

"We're blessed just to have him ready to go in that type of situation," McCarthy said of Wynn, the second-year back who was a seventh-round draft pick out of Florida in 2007. "You're able to not blink and he goes in and he played well. He graded out very well in his performance and he didn't really have any practice reps."

Almost all of Wynn's practice work this season has been on the scout team, and that's after being released in the first roster reduction during training camp, prior to the final preseason game. Injuries during his rookie training camp, rookie season and second off-season hurt Wynn's chances of making the team in 2008, but when he wasn't picked up by another club, the Packers re-signed him to the practice squad after the final roster cutdown.

"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," McCarthy said. "He has come back and has done a great job. He hasn't missed a practice. He competes and he does all of the little things. We had him in on third down and I think that tells you a lot about how we feel about him when he didn't have one snap of practice this week.

"I just go back to the touchdown because that was an impressive blitz pickup he made, and it was a factor in the protection for Aaron to step up and make that throw."

Wynn didn't have any carries in the game, but he did have one pass reception good for 7 yards. It moved the offense into position for Mason Crosby's 51-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter that iced the game.

Harrell to practice Wed.

Second-year defensive tackle Justin Harrell, who has been on the physically unable to perform list for the season's first six weeks, is expected to practice on Wednesday and might be available to play on Sunday against Indianapolis.

Harrell injured his back this past offseason and has since had two surgical procedures to fix problems. Even with limited practice time, he could be active for the game on Sunday because of the injury situation on the defensive line. McCarthy said defensive tackle Ryan Pickett could be questionable for Sunday's game with a tricep strain he sustained on Sunday in Seattle.

But McCarthy cautioned that he wants to see Harrell practice in pads on Wednesday and Thursday before making any decisions about whether he'll be available to play right away.

"He hasn't been in that particular environment for quite some time, so they just want to make sure they give him the proper progression of working his way through a full week of practice," McCarthy said.

More on injuries

Unlike Pickett, who could miss practice time this week, safety Aaron Rouse may not have to miss any practices this week. Rouse left Sunday's game with a head injury, but McCarthy said he was hopeful Rouse wouldn't have to miss any time.

{sportsad300}Quarterback Aaron Rodgers' sore shoulder was examined again and he did not have any setbacks from Sunday's game. McCarthy did not elaborate if or how much Rodgers might practice this week.

Cornerback Al Harris had his injured spleen scanned again, and McCarthy reported there was "significant improvement." The scans will be sent out for multiple opinions which could tell a different tale, but McCarthy said it's realistic to think Harris could return after the bye week. He was initially injured in Week 3 vs. Dallas.

New celebration

The Packers defensive backs have come up with a rather businesslike celebration when they intercept passes - they shake hands.

In Sunday's game in Seattle, Charles Woodson got an interception in the fourth quarter and was formally shaking the hands of his defensive backfield mates as he walked off the field. Then on Seattle's next possession, it was Tramon Williams' turn after he picked off a pass, with handshakes all around.

The thought is to try to do something unique to recognize a good play without crossing the line to being "excessive." The understated handshake seems to fit the bill so far, and with the team having 11 interceptions through six games, there may be plenty more to come.

"Ain't much you can do anymore in this league, so you just have to come up with something classy and maybe you won't get fined," Williams said.

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