With Chad Clifton out indefinitely with a hamstring injury, Derek Sherrod and Marshall Newhouse better be ready to play. In the next two weeks, Sherrod and Newhouse must block the likes of Chris Long for the St. Louis Rams, and Jared Allen for the Minnesota Vikings.
This far into the season, the two defensive ends have combined for 28 tackles and 11.5 sacks.
Chad Clifton will certainly be missed. He has been in the league for 12 years, all Green Bay, and has started nearly every game. In the past two drafts, the Packers spent their first round pick on tackles to eventually replace the aging Clifton and Mark Tauscher on the line.
Tauscher is gone already, and Clifton does not appear to have too many years left in him. The coming weeks will show Green Bay how they can fare in the years after Clifton retires, and pending the severity of his hamstring injury, that could very well be sooner rather than later.
The loss of Clifton could also slow down Aaron Rodgers, as Clifton was protecting the blind side. Rodgers was looking back over his shoulder several times after the injury was sustained at Atlanta on Sunday night.
The Packers responded well last season with all of the injuries, and hopefully they can respond the same way with Clifton out.
Until he comes back, it is Sherrod’s time to shine.