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The new torch bearer

by Mark Daniels

It was one of those odd moments.  Normally on Wednesdays, the media throng camps out in front of Aaron Rodgers' locker after practice.  Stools form a semi-circle for the TV photographers who shoot down over a mosh pit of radio mics extended and scribes leaning in to hear every word from the mouth of one of the NFL's truly marquee players.

Move that mass of humanity left approximately six feet and the same scene played out, for the first time, in front of backup quarterback Seneca Wallace's locker.   Just as he was about to begin his first media session as the emergency starter for the Packers, Rodgers slipped quietly into street clothes, carefully protecting his cracked left clavicle next to the crowd.  Weird.

So what came out of Wallace's mouth?  Here's what the 11 year veteran had to say about practice number one in advance of start number one Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Audio:  Seneca Wallace.

The rest of the guys all expressed extreme confidence in Seneca.  James Jones said flatly, "He's a pro, not a rookie.  This isn't his first merry-go-round."  Even defensive players, like A.J. Hawk said, "we're fortunate to have a quarterback like him."

Mike McCarthy's charge is to devise a game plan that not only takes advantages of Wallace's unique skills, but is also best able to attack the Philadelphia defense.  He believes Wallace will be able to handle just about everything in the playbook.

Rodgers was dressed in sweats at the practice inside the Don Hutson center and was listed on the injury report as did not practice, interesting he wasn't already ruled out when it's assumed he'll miss perhaps 4-6 weeks with the broken clavicle.  The only other player who didn't work was T.J. Lang, coming off a concussion Monday night.  McCarthy was hopeful Lang can get medically cleared before the weekend.  Nick Perry was limited with his foot injury, Andy Mulumba was limited with an ankle sprain and Ryan Pickett was a full participant on a sore knee.  

And then there's Clay Matthews.  Absent since he broke his right thumb sacking Matthew Stafford a month ago, he showed off his brand new club covering the healing digit.  Officially listed at limited, Clay just got a feel for the padding and will take an even bigger step on Thursday.  McCarthy believes Matthews could make his return against the Eagles. Wow, good medical news for a change.