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Packers might need savvy strategy at strong safety

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted Oct. 06, 2010 @ 3:04 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Each Wednesday throughout the season, we'll identify one Packers player, coach or area of the team that is most under the microscope. This week, the strong safety position is the choice.

The Packers could find themselves in a real pickle at strong safety in the wake of rookie Morgan Burnett's season-ending torn ACL suffered in the Week Four victory over Detroit. The best-case scenario is that defensive coordinator Dom Capers will figure out a creative way to cover for Burnett's loss until Oct. 18, at which time Atari Bigby, the starting strong safety the past three seasons who has been recovering from ankle surgery, is scheduled to come off the Physically Unable to Perform list and will hopefully be ready to make his always-physical presence felt right away.

The most likely short-term starter at strong safety is veteran backup Charlie Peprah, who has also had health issues, having missed the past two games with a thigh injury, But while Peprah, who has started only one game in his career, might be listed as the starter, it's very possible Capers will utilize the talents of an assortment of players in special packages like the "Big Okie," which has been used before in an injury-induced pinch. The big problem with the "Big Okie," however, is that the second safety in that alignment normally is LB Brandon Chillar, whose shoulder injury has made him iffy at best for the Redskins game and possibly the rest of the season. Suffice it to say the strong safety position has suddenly become a hot spot of major proportions.

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