The Packers released Clifton on Monday.|||||||
Packers general manager Ted Thompson called Clifton an "integral part of our success over the past 12 seasons," thanking him for his time with the team. It was not immediately clear whether Clifton will retire. ESPN reported the Packers' plans to release Clifton earlier Monday. Clifton has been the Packers' primary left tackle since 2000, starting 160 regular-season games in 12 seasons.
Clifton will start his first game since Oct. 9 on Sunday against the Lions.|||||||
Clifton hurt his hamstring in the Packers' victory at Atlanta, then hurt his back during the rehabilitation process.
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy says Clifton is still the starting left tackle, although his availability for next Monday night's game in Chicago is in doubt.|||||||
Clifton was benched in favor of first-round rookie Bryan Bulaga during Sunday's victory over the Buffalo Bills. McCarthy said Monday he made the move because Clifton "didn't look healthy." Clifton is an 11-year veteran with a history of knee issues and he was receiving medical treatment Monday. McCarthy says the team will take the week to determine whether he will start against the Bears.
The Packers have re-signed Clifton.|||||||
Clifton will now return to the left tackle spot he has occupied for most of his 10 seasons in Green Bay. The Packers do not have an obvious candidate to replace Clifton, and reported interest in the unrestricted free agent from the Washington Redskins made for some nervous moments among Packers fans. ESPN.com reported Friday night that Clifton's deal was for three years and $20 million, with $7.5 million in guaranteed money.
The Redskins invited Clifton for a visit.|||||||
Clifton has played 10 seasons with Green Bay, starting 138 regular-season games. He went to his first Pro Bowl following the 2007 season as a fill-in for injured Walter Jones of Seattle. At 33, Clifton is a year older than Chris Samuels but has been durable, missing only two games over six years until sitting out four last year after spraining his ankle.