GREEN BAY, Wis. – No Green Bay Packers defensive back had won NFC Defensive Player of the Week since Charles Woodson in 2010.
On the night in which the Hall of Famer’s name was unveiled on the Lambeau Field façade, Rasul Douglas delivered his own award-winning performance.
With a pick-six among his four passes defensed on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, Douglas was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday. It was the first such honor of Douglas’ career and highlighted an amazing two-month stretch.
With a week remaining in training camp, the Las Vegas Raiders released Douglas on Aug. 23. Douglas landed with the Houston Texans for the preseason finale but was released on Aug. 31. The next day, he signed to the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad. He toiled in anonymity there until the cornerback-starved Packers grabbed him on Oct. 6.
Douglas made his Packers debut off the bench at Chicago on Oct. 17 and hasn’t looked back. In seven games, he is tied for the team lead with two interceptions and is tied for second with eight passes defensed. The first of those interceptions was his game-saving, end-zone interception at Arizona.
Rasul Douglas Photo Gallery
“It’s like you say the same thing all the time when you’re talking about Rasul. How was this guy on the practice squad?” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said after the Rams game. “The dude has made so many plays for us. He’s got great instincts, good ball skills, opportunistic plays or us.”
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He’s been everywhere, man.
And he’s found a home in Green Bay.
“It’s big. I think I give the defense and the coaches (the credit),” he said after the game. “They put me in position where I can make plays and allow me to make plays. It really is all on them, all the coaches. They put me in position.”
With Jaire Alexander having missed the last eight games with a shoulder injury and Kevin King having missed six games with an assortment of injuries, Douglas has been one of the team’s saviors.
Why are the Packers 9-3? Well, it helps that they made two incredible bargain-bin signings. Linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for October, was signed in mid-June, long after the first waves of free agency were complete, and Douglas was signed off a practice squad in October.
“Rasul has been a huge pickup for us,” coach Matt LaFleur said. “You’ve got to give credit to Gutey [general manager Brian Gutekunst] and his staff for finding him. I just love how he competes. You see it play in and play out. The guy is so competitive. You see it in practice every day. Obviously, he’s made two plays that have made major impacts on games this year. Just really proud of his effort. I think our guys have really embraced him and took him in, and we’re lucky to have a guy like that. It’s rare that you find a guy like that midseason.”