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Neal a disappointing nonfactor for Packers

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted Jan. 12, 2012 @ 8:59 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

In a regular season that was just one loss short of being picture perfect in the standings, there were still a surprising number of disappointments. Perhaps the biggest was the relative disappearance of DE Mike Neal, who was being counted on to fill the inside pass-rusher role that had been filled so effectively by the departed Cullen Jenkins. After displaying impressive flashes before a torn rotator cuff suffered in practice ended his rookie campaign, Neal raised eyebrows when he suddenly came up lame with a knee injury just before the season opener vs. the Saints. Finally making it back for the last seven games, he ended up being no more than a third fiddle behind fellow backups C.J. Wilson and Jarius Wynn, registering only three tackles and zero sacks. While we hear Neal is likely to get a shot to redeem himself next season, he is going to be hard-pressed to shake the bust label he solidified in 2011. 

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