Clifton Suffers Another Injury, Leaving Season, Career In Doubt

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Chad Clifton

End of the line?

The Green Bay Packers aren’t giving up on tackle Chad Clifton yet, but the day may be fast approaching.

Clifton, who’s been out since tearing a hamstring on Oct. 9, was supposed to return to practice this week, but that isn’t going to happen. Coach Mike McCarthy revealed Clifton recently suffered a back injury, Wednesday.

The next step could be placing the veteran on injured reserve, which would end his season. It seems like the Packers aren’t quite ready to do that yet.

“I don’t know if it’s one week, two weeks,” McCarthy said of Clifton’s return. “It’s something that’s knocked us off schedule. We thought this would be the week he would practice — I didn’t know if he’d be able to play this week. Any time you’re dealing with backs there’s always a little more uncertainty, and that’s in Chad’s case.”

The injuries may just end Clifton’s Packers career. Assuming he’ll be out two more weeks, Clifton would return to practice in week 15, when the Packers play the Kansas City Chiefs. In all likelihood, the team will ease Clifton back in and hold him out of that week’s game, meaning the soonest he would play is week 16 against the Chicago Bears.

While the team may want the veteran to face Bears defensive end Julius Peppers, you have to wonder if they would upset the continuity of the offensive line. The Packers would have to remove Marshall Newhouse, who by that time will have started nine games in a row at left tackle, for a potentially-gimpy Clifton.

Granted, Newhouse has had his ups and downs, but he hasn’t gotten anyone killed, he survived Jared Allen and played well against Detroit.

If Clifton is able to go, the Packers may very well put him back in the starting lineup, but they could also use him as an insurance policy in case Newhouse falters or goes down. Of course, he may also end up going on injured reserve, which would effectively end his Packers career. Clifton is 35 and in the final year of his contract and the Packers have another youngster waiting to play tackle in first-round pick Derek Sherrod.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

13 Comments on "Clifton Suffers Another Injury, Leaving Season, Career In Doubt"

  1. AZ Pack

    Cliffy has been a great Packer and an awesome left tackle for many years, however between his knees, hammy, and now his back… We can’t afford to take the risk of putting him back in the starting line up. I say you keep Newhouse in there. He hasn’t been flawless, however he isn’t horrible either and is younger, quicker, and showing some upside for a guy who hasn’t started in the NFL previously. AAAAAANNNNDDDD! I really want to see the tightends chip Peppers like Quarless did against Jared Allen.

    GO PACK GO!!!!

  2. nurseratchett

    I hate to hear this about Clifton. Makes me pissed off at Warren Sapp all over again.

    I have to agree with the vote & the other comments here; we need the strongest person in that spot, and if its not Chad, that sucks, but next man up.

    Lets hope if this is the last season for Clifton, that he retires a Packer.

    GO PACK GO!!!

  3. TyKo Steamboat

    I would like to see Cliffy in week 16 & 17 to protect a healthy Aaron Rodgers from being slammed into a frozen Lambeau tundra by 2 fierce pass-rushes (Julius Peppers & Avril/Vanden Bosch) & being hurt for a playoff run.
    Cliffy is an A+ pass-rush protector & an intrical part to our Super Bowl run last season.

  4. rkp

    While I agree his career likely would be over with Pack if he is unable to return this season it won’t be because he “is in the final year of his contract” as he is still under contract next season.

  5. geopack

    It really all depends on what he shows the coaches when he gets healthy. They’re going to play whomever looks best in practice, and there’s no way to predict that today. Thankfully they have options, and can feel confident in either.

    That said, if it really is the end of the road for Cliffy, I raise a toast to you. Thanks for all the great years.

    It’s tough watching that pompous Sapp on Showtime.

    • nurseratchett

      we were in Tampa for that game….it was a cheap hit, and the celebration after Sapp literally took him out was disgusting. Even the Tampa sports guys were talking about how dirty it was back then. Ironic to hear Sapp denigrate Suh now that he’s a talking sports head.

  6. RKP

    While I agree his career likely would be over with the Pack if he is unable to return this season, it won’t be because he “is in the final year of his contract” as he is still under contract next season. Great Packer, would be sad to see it end this way. Guy sacrificed his body his whole career.

  7. Shawn iltarion

    Slaphappy (my nickname for Sapp) was always a punk whose mouth was bigger than his game. He and Keyshawn were a perfect match for one another. Too bad that Jon Gruden and Philly’s championship game ineptness helped them get a ring.

    I said after the Lion game that Clifton should enjoy his retirement. Regardless of injury, his time as the Packers’ starting LT is over. Newhouse handled Vanden Bosch very well. Clifton wasn’t playing that great when he was in there, and Newhouse is potentially a better run blocker.

  8. Pingback: Rodgers Appears To Prefer Newhouse Over Clifton | Total Packers

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