Mike Neal’s much anticipated return to the active roster just got a bit closer, according to Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy.
While ruling both Neal and left tackle Chad Clifton out for Sunday’s game at San Diego, McCarthy was more upbeat about Neal’s return than Clifton’s.
He described Clifton as still looking at “multiple” weeks before he has a chance to hit the field again.
Neal was slated to fill the spot vacated when Cullen Jenkins signed with Philadelphia just before the start of training camp. However, the second year player who was out all of last season, injured his knee in a non-contact drill during training camp and has been out since.
In his place, the Packers have used players by committee and have hopes that Neal will be back sooner than later.
Clifton suffered a serious hamstring injury in the Atlanta game, but has been replaced by Marshall Newhouse who had been filling in for Bryan Bulaga at right tackle prior to moving into Clifton’s left tackle position.
Though Newhouse gave up two early sacks to Jared Allen in the Minnesota game, he has played well.