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Charles Woodson cleared to play for Green Bay Packers

Charles Woodson has waited patiently for his opportunity to return to the Green Bay Packers' lineup. That wait appears over.

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Packers coach Mike McCarthy announced Tuesday that Woodson officially has been cleared by doctors to play in Saturday night's wild-card matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. Woodson has been out since Week 7 after breaking the same collarbone he injured in Super Bowl XLV. He practiced with teammates Tuesday.

The initial timetable had Woodson returning to the lineup in Week 14, but the Packers opted to take a more conservative approach with the 15-year NFL veteran.

Woodson isn't the same force he was earlier in his career, but he brings depth and leadership to a Packers defense that finished ranked 11th in the NFL this season. Woodson -- who made the old corner pilgrimage to safety this season -- should see time in select Packers looks.

In other injury news, both wide receiver Jordy Nelson and tight end Jermichael Finley were held out of Tuesday's practice, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Nelson -- perpetually banged up this season -- has a knee injury. Finley was poked in the eye during Sunday's loss in Minnesota.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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