Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has the utmost confidence in Chad Clifton. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Packers notes: Cobb, Driver, Clifton and knee bruising

Today the Packers must reduce its roster from the current 83 players to 80, meaning that three more players are set to be released by mid-afternoon today, Tuesday, Aug. Aug.

Most likely, the three to be let go won’t be huge surprises, but then again I always say this is the NFL, so every day is a surprise.

But inching closer to the final preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Packers have had some interesting developments in camp the past couple of days.

Highlighting those developments were the return of rookie Randall Cobb, the continued solid play of veteran Donald Driver, the comments by Coach Mike McCarthy in defending veteran left tackle Chad Clifton, and most notably, the seeming infective condition called “bruised knees.”

It was good to see Cobb back in practice, though limited by one of those so-called “bruised knees.”

How much the rookie will play Thursday will depend on how he comes along the next couple of days … most likely his play will be limited because he seems to be a lock on making the roster.

What was even more exciting news, at least to this writer, was the continued solid play of Donald Driver, who must be hearing the footsteps from the talented young wide receivers who are vying for a spot on this team’s roster.

It was Driver’s leaping catch during the team’s red zone session that turned heads at Sunday’s practice. “He ran some good routes,” McCarthy said. “Yeah, I thought he had a good day today.”

That’s good news for Driver, who has come under scrutiny by some Internet writers who have said the past week that his time with the team may be in question.

However, Driver hasn’t been listening. With the exception of one drop last week in Indianapolis, the veteran has had a solid camp and has had some huge catches in the three preseason games in which he has participated.

Another veteran, Chad Clifton, however, has been slow to get into the groove of camp – and it showed last week when he was beaten several times by Colt Dwight Freeney. Yes, Freeney is an all-pro and has made many left tackles look silly throughout his career, so to point to one game and say Clifton is losing it might be a stretch.

At least McCarthy came to his defense this week, saying, “Chad Clifton is on a pitch count. There’s a lot of time and thought that goes into Chad Clifton. His practice time is discussed on a daily basis. I have all of the confidence in the world in Chad Clifton.”

We tend to agree.

And on the topic of knees, what is all this about bruised knees? It seems like receivers are dropping like flies because of the condition. Is this something new? Or is it that the staff is just being extra careful with those whose knees are showing the wear and tear from camp?

Considering what these guys are paid, I couldn’t disagree. However, if this is something that might continue into the season, one has to wonder about the severity of the injury described as bruised knees … one might also start asking, why can’t they just suck it up and go?

… And what ever happened to knee pads?

Just asking.

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Tags: Chad Clifton Donald Driver Green Bay Packers NFC NFL Winning Isn't Everything, It's The Only Thing

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