*Chad Clifton has had the support of head coach Mike McCarthy throughout training camp and in to the season, but it appears as if Clifton’s body might not be able to handle the work load.
A sore knee kept Clifton sidelined for at least one practice per day during pre-season and left him slow and ineffective during Sunday’s game against the Bills. He was removed from the game in the second quarter and did not return.
Good news for Packer fans, but bad news for Clifton is that the Pack have first round draft pick Brian Bulaga waiting in the wings.
He will most likely start against Chicago on Monday night and would likely see time the following week while Clifton is given time to heal. The problem for Clifton will be whether or not he has a spot to return to in a few weeks.
By the time Clifton is healthy enough to play, Bulaga may have made his stamp on the position, leaving McCarthy with the decision to put in an aging veteran whose body limits his play or stick with the rookie whose ceiling is much higher.
Bulaga is a better run-blocker, but Clifton has quicker feet. It will be interesting to see if Bulaga is able to hold his own against Chicago.
*Clay Matthews was named NFC Player of the Week after notching three sacks against Buffalo.
It was his second straight week of three sacks, something no other Packer has ever accomplished. Matthews had 10 sacks all of last season and many were happy with that sort of production.
Clearly it will be difficult to keep up his current pace, but its likely Matthews will set a new career-high in sacks on the season. The production is even more impressive when one remembers that Matthews sat out most of training camp with a sore left hamstring.
*With Ryan Grant’s season-ending injury, it seemed as though Brandon Jackson would become the new #1 running back. Instead, it looks as though the job will be done by a committee.
Jackson had just 11 carries in Sunday’s game, followed by Kuhn with 9 carries. It’s unclear if Jackson’s injury history plays in to the decision.
Despite getting limited carries, Jackson has missed 11 games over the past three seasons. It’s unlikely that his body could handle the pounding of a 20-carry game.