Merrill on the Packers

Make sure you check out Elizabeth Merrill's behind-the-scenes look at the Green Bay Packers' injury-ravaged season. Excerpted below is how defensive lineman Howard Green arrived on the scene as an emergency replacement last month:

With a stack of clothes and half of his life stuffed into a Ford F-150 pickup truck, Howard Green turned away from the Manhattan skyline and pulled south. He had an 18-hour drive ahead of him, plenty of time to clear his mind. Like the Packers, Green had no idea what was coming next. He'd just been cut by the New York Jets, the third time he had been waived in two months. It was late October, not exactly the best time to be unemployed in the NFL.

Green popped open an energy drink, cranked his music and prayed. For a team to call him. For a team that needed him.

Seventeen hours into his drive, about an hour away from his hometown near Baton Rouge, La., Green's agent called. The Packers wanted him in Green Bay ASAP. They had a flight ready for him, but Green was stuck in rush-hour traffic. He ditched his truck on the side of the road and had a family member whisk him to the airport.