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Notebook: Positive Outlook For Left Side

Posted Sep 25, 2010

While there was some uncertainty during the week about the status of tackle Chad Clifton and guard Daryn Colledge due to knee injuries, it appears that Green Bay’s offensive line could line up with the same starting five for the third straight game on Monday night against the Bears.

Clifton was a limited participant in practice on Saturday after working fully in Friday’s padded practice, and is listed as probable for the game at Chicago.

“He came off of (Friday's) practice feeling OK, so we’ll see how he gets through the next 50 hours,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said.

Chad Clifton is our starting left tackle, and if Chad is ready to go, he’ll play there and our rotation will be the same as it’s been. It’s a medical decision. He’s in the stage of his career that his particular knee situation is a little bit unpredictable, so we’ll see how he is Monday.”

Clifton left last Sunday’s game against Buffalo with just under six minutes remaining in the second quarter because of soreness in his knee, with rookie Bryan Bulaga handling responsibilities at left tackle for the rest of the game. If Clifton starts on Monday night, Bulaga would back him up again.

“I think (Clifton) looks good,” Colledge said. “I think he is ready to go. I think he is excited. I know a lot of people were kind of critical of him last week not being 100 percent and going out and trying to play. That’s Chad. He wants to be available and he wants to go out there and compete and he wants to help this team win games.

“He is going to do whatever he has to do. That guy has played in this league a long, long time and I expect him to get himself ready and be ready for a big game on Monday.”

Colledge was hurt during Thursday’s practice when nose tackle B.J. Raji rolled into his knee during a screen drill. After sitting out Friday, Colledge was a full participant on Saturday.

Colledge has never missed a game due to injury at any level, and said the only time he can remember missing a game was when he wasn’t able to play in the first football game one season as a kid because he was still playing in a summer baseball league.

“You are always concerned at first reaction,” said Colledge. “When you get rolled up and things hurt, it’s not natural. That’s part of the game and those things happen. Once you get over the initial shock, you take a step back and realize where you are really at.

“The trainers did a great job, got me ready, iced me down, did all the treatment I needed. Today I feel 100 percent. I expect to feel even better by Monday.”

Monday’s game will bring a Bears defense ranked No. 1 against the run through the first two weeks of the season, as they have allowed an average of just 28.0 yards per game. It will also be Green Bay’s first look at perennial Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers in a Chicago uniform.

“They put him in position where they can put him in one-on-one blocks hopefully and he can make plays,” Colledge said. “That is what he does and that’s what they pay him to do and he does a damn good job of it. If we double-team him, we’re freeing up somebody else and they’ve got way too much talent to be doing that. We’ve all got our hands full.”

Backfield threat
The Packers have kept Chicago running back Matt Forté in check in four games against him, but the third-year man is off to a prolific start this season catching the football.

Forté leads all NFL running backs with 188 receiving yards on 12 catches (15.7 avg.), including three touchdowns, which also leads the league among backs. His yardage total is the most by an NFL running back through two games since another Bear, Hall of Famer Walter Payton, posted 211 receiving yards on 14 receptions in the first two games in 1983.

“All you have to do is watch that Lions game,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “The Lions go up 14-3 on them, and Forte takes a screen 89 yards for a touchdown. He gives them great versatility. He is kind of a slashing runner, but a really outstanding receiver. A really good football player. He is off to a heck of a start.”

Turning back the clock
On Monday night against the Packers, the Bears will wear a throwback uniform from the 1940s, a period that saw Chicago win four world championships in a seven-year stretch (1940, '41, '43, '46).

It will be the second time in three games that Green Bay’s opponent has sported a throwback uniform, with the Eagles donning one in Week 1 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their 1960 NFL Championship.

The Packers will unveil their third jersey, a re-creation of the team’s uniform from 1929, against San Francisco at Lambeau Field on Dec. 5. 

Injury/participation update
Linebacker Brad Jones (knee), defensive ends Mike Neal (side/rib) and Ryan Pickett (hamstring), and safety Charlie Peprah (quad) are all questionable for Monday night.

Jones sustained the injury last Sunday against Buffalo, but did return to the game. He has been limited all three days of practice this week.

“It’s just going to be one of those things where we are going to have to evaluate how he does from this point on,” Capers said. “It might be a game-time decision.”

Neal didn’t participate in practice at all on Saturday for the second straight day, while Pickett was limited for the second consecutive practice.

“I think Ryan’s going to be OK,” McCarthy said. “We’re just being smart with him. Mike just doesn’t look like he’s quite ready. Probably very similar to where we were last week.”

In addition to Clifton and Colledge, linebacker Desmond Bishop (hamstring), tight end Tom Crabtree (arch), fullback Korey Hall (hip), defensive end Cullen Jenkins (hand), safety Derrick Martin (ankle), linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring), linebacker Brady Poppinga (knee), and cornerbacks Brandon Underwood (shoulder) and Charles Woodson (toe) are all probable.

Crabtree and Hall were full participants on Saturday after not practicing at all on Friday.

For Chicago, tackle Chris Williams (hamstring) and safety Major Wright (hamstring) are out.

Linebackers Lance Briggs (ankle), Brian Iwuh (quad), and Nick Roach (hamstring) and defensive end Israel Idonije (foot) are all probable. 

Additional coverage – Sept. 25
 
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