But Sharper's routine is anything but routine.
So every Thanksgiving, Darren does the next-best thing: He celebrates the holiday with an extended family of nearly 600 youngsters from the Milwaukee boys and girls clubs.
"I don't get the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with my family," Sharper says. "So I thought, 'Why not have a home away from home?'"
Since 1998, that home has been Milwaukee's Capital Christian Center, where Sharper hosts an annual turkey dinner for the youngsters.
"We know that there are a lot of families who don't have the chance to sit down and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, so we invite some of those who are less fortunate to come down and join us," says Sharper, who makes the two-hour drive from Green Bay to Milwaukee, then drives back in time for practice the next day (this year's event will be held the day after Thanksgiving because the Packers play in Detroit on the holiday). "It's a festive atmosphere, and it's a lot of fun."
"The kids are all over Darren," says Darryn DeWalt of DCT Sports Marketing, a friend who helped launch the annual Darren Sharper Thanksgiving Kids' Cafe. "He loves to sit down and talk with the kids, and they love him."
"Darren gives them that glimmering light of hope that they can work their way out of whatever situation they're in. He's a living testament to that. He struggled his first couple of years in the league, but he worked hard, and it paid off when he made All-Pro last year. The kids can see that."
Sharper is just one of scores of NFL players who give of themselves throughout the year, and particularly at Thanksgiving:
Second-year wide receiver Peter Warrick distributed more than 200 food baskets in his hometown of Bradenton, Florida. The event was sponsored by the Peter Warrick Foundation.
Tackle Willie Anderson provided turkeys to the public via other charitable foundations. Anderson purchased and sent 85 turkeys to the White Stone Missionary Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama and 66 turkeys to the Church of God Pentecostal Church in Montgomery, Alabama and the Trinity Garden Boys and Girls Club of Mobile, Alabama.
Quarterback Akili Smith bought all of the turkeys that were distributed from the Free Store/Food Bank. Smiths Foundation benefits needy children in both Cincinnati and his hometown of San Diego.
The list goes on and on. Indeed, every NFL team has players who participate in club programs or on their own. In Green Bay, many of Sharper's teammates, including safety LeRoy Butler, wide receiver Antonio Freeman, and running backs Ahman Green and William Henderson, join him for the Kids' Cafe.
"The kids are happy to see NFL players, but they're also grateful for the chance to have a special meal," Sharper says. "And some see others less fortunate than themselves, too, so they learn that we all have things that we need to be thankful for."
Sharper is involved in all aspects of the dinner, from planning to coordinating with Second Harvest Food Bank (which helps provide the meal) to serving food.
"I want to be there," he says. "To me, writing a check and just walking away is superficial. I want to be involved."
Sharper's community involvement extends throughout the year. He regularly participates in fundraising activities for schools, charities, and hospitals in Wisconsin and Virginia.
"Darren has a huge heart," DeWalt says.
"I get a real good feeling from it," Sharper says. "At last year's dinner, you could just see from the smile on the kids' faces how much the opportunity meant to them. You could see how happy they were."