Mike Neal

The Green Bay Packers granted defensive end Mike Neal his wish.

Neal returned from a four-game NFL suspension this week and said he wanted to play. The Packers obviously thought he showed enough in his first week back to give him a chance to do just that.

On Saturday, they added Neal to the active roster and cut defensive end Phillip Merling.

Merling’s release isn’t a big surprise. In fact, we predicted it would be either him or injured rookie safety Sean Richardson who would be let go if/when the Packers activated Neal.

Merling was somewhat of a surprise member of the final roster coming out of training camp. Miami gave up on the 2008 second-round pick in the offseason. The Packers claimed him on waivers and he had a decent camp in what most considered his last shot in the NFL.

Although he made the roster, Merling was used sparingly. He had only two tackles on the season and didn’t play against New Orleans.

Now, we’ll see if Neal, a 2010 second-rounder, can shed the bust label that’s hanging around Merling’s neck.