Green Bay Packers quarterback and reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers wants to see former tackle Chad Clifton back in a green and gold uniform. He also wants general manager Ted Thompson to make the call as soon as possible.
The Packers 2012 season is very similar to that of their Super Bowl year in which season ending injuries are becoming a problem. Green Bay lost starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga for the season with a hip injury and only has two players who are non-starters to back up the offensive line. Undrafted rookie free agents Don Barclay and Greg Van Roten have zero experience in the regular season and could certainly leave Rodgers exposed if they were forced to block the game’s top pass rushers.
Rodgers believes signing Clifton is definitely the right call as he believes a solid veteran backup who has plenty of experience in the league is exactly what the Packers need for some insurance along the offensive line. Clifton has not played in an NFL game since early 2012 when Green Bay lost to the New York Giants in the NFC Divisional playoff game.
“I haven’t talked to Cliff in a while, but I would guess he might be able to be lured from Nashville,” said Rodgers. “I love Cliff, so I would never not want to see him up here. We’ve had a lot of fun together and it would be good to see him back up here.”
The problem the Packers face is that Clifton was injured for a majority of last season due to hamstring and back injuries that forced him to miss 10 games. The entire reason he was released from the team this past summer is because he was unable to pass his physical. Clifton probably has been working out at his home in Nashville but there really is no way he would be football ready.
“I think if there’s any interest, it’s worth looking into,” said Rodgers. “At least (it’d be worth) bringing him up here and seeing what kind of shape he’s in, how his body is. It’s worth that if there’s interest on our side.”
As of right now, left guard T.J. Lang will be playing right tackle while the underrated Evan Dietrich-Smith will take Lang’s position. Both offensive linemen played great in Green Bay’s win over the Arizona Cardinals two Sunday’s ago.
It is certainly understandable why Rodgers and probably the rest of the Packers are concerned. If something were to happen to one of the five starting offensive linemen and Green Bay is unable to protect Rodgers in the pocket then the season is realistically over.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.