Ha Ha Clinton-Dix thinks his days are numbered in Green Bay

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of the University of Alabama. Since then his career has been up and down. He earned a Pro Bowl appearance in 2016, but hasn’t been the elite secondary player that the Packers hoped he would be.

Clinton-Dix thinks that relationship may be coming to an end sooner than later. The defensive pack is in the fifth and final year of his rookie contract. He admitted to Madison.com’s Jason Wilde that this very well could be his last season in Green Bay.

“Right now, I’m playing each and every game like it’s my last. I don’t think I’m going to be here next year,” Clinton-Dix said. “That’s how I look at it. I just [have to] be honest with myself. You’ve got to play it game-by-game. Whether we’re losing by 60 points, you’ve got to go out there and perform. This is my biggest interview of my career. So I’ve got to perform, regardless of what the record says.”

So far this season Clinton-Dix has intercepted three passes while totaling 20 tackles, including one sack. In his career he has yet to miss a game, starting all 16 games in three of his four previous seasons. Clinton-Dix has started each of the five games for the Packers this year.

Packers fall to Lions in Detroit

The Green Bay Packers went to Detroit in search of their second NFC North win of the season, but things didn’t go as planned.

The Detroit Lions jumped out to a 24-0 lead on the Packers before quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the offense could get anything going. Rodgers finished the game with gaudy numbers, but much of it was too little, too late for the Packers. He totaled 442 yards and three scores through the air on 32-of-52 passing.

The Packers nearly doubled the total yards gained compared to the Lions, 521 to 264, but the Lions were able to take advantage of a couple of golden opportunities the Packers gave them. One of those was a punt that was ruled to hit off of a Packers player before being recovered by the Lions near Green Bay’s goal line. A touchdown for Detroit was scored on the next play.

Davante Adams lead the way for the Packers receivers. The only healthy regular at that position finished with nine catches for 140 yards and a touchdown in the loss. Aaron Jones was the leading rusher with seven carries for 40 yards on the day as well.

Green Bay also wasn’t helped by the performance of kicker Mason Crosby, who missed five of his six kicks on the day. His only make was a 41-yard field goal with :02 remaining in the game.

The Packers will return to action next Monday, October 15, at home against the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field.

Aaron Rodgers says he has a ‘great relationship’ with Mike McCarthy

After a few days of rampant media speculation, Aaron Rodgers spoke to reporters Wednesday about his relationship with head coach Mike McCarthy.

“Mike and I talk all the time. We have a great relationship,” Rodgers said. “There’s always been great communication between us. Even if there are things we need to talk about that are tough subjects, we’ve never had a problem finding time and talking. That’s the way it’s been for 10 plus years.”

The quarterback’s comments following Green Bay’s 22-0 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday had drawn plenty of reaction from the local and national media about the relationship of the two men that have been together since 2006. Rodgers seemed critical of the Packers’ game plan and talked about the need to scheme to get their best playmakers more involved.

McCarthy was asked about the tone of Rodgers’ comments on Monday.

“I think we all have to recognize and realize this is football,” McCarthy said. “I’m not going to get into tone and things like that. [Rodgers is a] very passionate man. Very passionate, very competitive. I’m no different.

“I’ve called a lot of games in this league, gone through a lot of game plans. You still represent the team as the head coach, but when I closed my door (Sunday night) and watched the game, I felt like we left a lot out there.”

Pressed on the topic of whether being willing to talk and work things out is actually having a good relationship, Rodgers made clear how he felt.

“Communication is the basis for a good relationship, wouldn’t you say? I think it is,” Rodgers said. “For any relationship, it starts with good communication and being able to be honest with each other and then hug it out afterwards.”

Packers 22, Buffalo 0: 2-minute drill

GREEN BAY — Aaron Rodgers threw for one score, Aaron Jones ran for another and the Green Bay Packers defense was dominant in a 22-0 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Game Balls

Offense: RB Aaron Jones

Jones is special when he gets the ball in his hands and he showed that several times on Sunday. His first chance came on the final play of the first quarter. All he did was burst outside for a 30-yard gain. Later on the same drive, the second-year back showed very good patience in waiting for his blockers on a screen pass that went for 17 yards. Jones finished the drive by barreling through a defender for a 3-yard touchdown.

Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery both did some nice things on Sunday, but Jones, who had 82 yards on 12 touches, is truly dynamic.

Defense: Everyone

There’s no doubt that Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen looked very much like the rookie he is, but the Packers played a part in that. Green Bay managed to get the Bills in long yardage situations and then defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was able to let his guys go hunting. They came up with seven sacks on the day, including three by third-year linebacker Kyler Fackrell. The defense also forced three turnovers, matching their total in the first three games combined.

Again, Buffalo was overmatched, but this is the same group that scored 27 against Minnesota last week. For Green Bay to limit the Bills like they did is a positive sign and another building block after shutting down the Redskins in the second half last week.

Special Teams: K Mason Crosby

Yeah, he missed an extra point, but Crosby continued a nice start to the season with three more field goals on Sunday. That included a pair of 52-yard bombs — the 30th and 31st make of 50 or more yards in his career. With an offense struggling to put the ball in the end zone, having someone reliable like Crosby is valuable for Green Bay.

What they said

Rodgers was clearly not pleased with what went on Sunday. He lashed out afterwards with a number noteworthy quotes and seemingly questioned the play calling of coach Mike McCarthy.

Here’s just a couple of them:

** “No, I’m happy. I’m excited to go home and have a scotch or two. I’m also a realist. So that’s just not acceptable offense for us. 423 yards looks pretty good in comparison to some of the games we’ve put forward the first three weeks but it should have been about 45 points and 600 yards.”

** “We were championship defensive level and non-playoff offensive level today. That was not great by any stretch of the imagination. We need to find ways to get our playmakers in position to get some more opportunities.”

** “It was as bad as we’ve played on offense, with that many yards, in a long time.”

Videos of the game

In Case You Missed It

— Wide receiver Randall Cobb, along with cornerbacks Kevin King and Bashaud Breeland, were inactive. Cobb is battling a hamstring injury, while King has a groin injury. Breeland was just signed this week.

— Wide receiver Geronimo Allison suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter and did not return.

— Linebacker Clay Matthews made it through a game without a roughing the passer penalty for the first time this year.

— Wide receiver J’Mon Moore made his regular season debut. The rookie got just a few reps on offense after Allison was injured.

— Rodgers lit into rookie wide receiver Marques Valdez-Scantling for apparently not coming back to the ball on a quick hitch route. The pass should have been picked off. Asked what he said to Valdez-Scantling, Rodgers said, “You’ll have to go back and look at it. It probably wasn’t real friendly.”

Inside the Numbers

145 — That’s the number of yards Buffalo had on Sunday, the fewest allowed by the Packers since Dec. 21, 2014 against Tampa Bay (109 yards)

0 — That’s the number of points Buffalo put up. It’s the first shutout by Green Bay since 2010 when it beat the New York Jets 9-0 on the road. It’s the first home shutout since 2009 when the Packers beat Detroit 26-0.

1 — That’s the number of receiving touchdowns Jimmy Graham has as a member of the Packers after catching a 3-yard toss from Rodgers in the first quarter.

What’s Next

Green Bay (2-1-1) will travel to Detroit (1-3) next Sunday to take on the Lions.

Report: Packers signing CB Bashaud Breeland

The Green Bay Packers are making an apparent upgrade to their secondary.

On the same day that the team reportedly decided to place cornerback Davon House on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, the team is set to add Bashaud Breeland.

ESPN’s Rob Demovsky was the first to report the addition of the cornerback, saying the signing will take place Wednesday.

Breeland spent his first four years in Washington, starting 58 of the 60 games he played in. He had eight interceptions, seven forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

An unrestricted free agent last offseason, Breeland was set to sign with the Carolina Panthers in March but failed his physical after cutting his foot in a non-football injury. He visited a number of other teams in recent weeks, including Tampa Bay, but ended up with the Packers after working out for them on Tuesday.

Green Bay will welcome Breeland with open arms. In addition to House, starting corner Kevin King is dealing with a groin injury suffered against Minnesota in Week 2 and he did not play against Washington. It remains unclear how long he’ll be out.

The Packers host Buffalo this Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Report: Packers’ DE Mo Wilkerson done for the season

What looked like a serious injury to Muhammad Wilkerson in Sunday’s game against Washington has turned out to be exactly that.

According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the Green Bay Packers defensive lineman suffered an ankle injury that will end his season.

Coach Mike McCarthy called the injury significant on Monday afternoon, but offered no further details on the severity.

Wilkerson was injured in the second half of the loss to the Redskins when safety Kentrell Brice rolled into him. He was taken off the field on a cart and taken to the hospital. McCarthy did say that Wilkerson stayed in the Washington DC area to undergo a procedure that needed to take place before he was able to travel.

The veteran lineman signed a one-year deal with the Packers as a free agent this offseason. He had five tackles, including a pair of solo stops, in three games this season.

When Wilkerson went out, third-year lineman Dean Lowry saw the biggest uptick in snaps.

Clay Matthews is mad and everyone else should be, too

WASHINGTON — Clay Matthews knew he was in the wrong after his late hit on quarterback Mitchell Trubisky kept a fourth-quarter drive alive for the Chicago Bears in the season opener.

The veteran outside linebacker was less understanding when a very questionable roughing the passer penalty wiped out a game-clinching interception last Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. But Matthews largely held his tongue, wary of drawing the attention of the league office in the form of a fine.

“I know what to say,” Matthews mused after that game ended in a tie. “It’s just I don’t want to lose anymore money.”

On Sunday in Washington, though, the 32-year-old had seen and heard enough. Minutes after the Green Bay Packers fell 31-17 to the Redskins, a swarm of reporters crowded around Matthews to hear his reaction to a third roughing the passer penalty in as many games.

This one came on an actual sack, with Matthews crashing through the right side of Washington’s line in the third quarter, planting his right shoulder into quarterback Alex Smith’s chest and taking him to the ground. It was a big play for a defense trying to make up for its inept performance in the first half. But instead of a loss of 12 yards, it was a 15-yard penalty. It left Matthews crouched down, contemplating what had just happened and ready to erupt in frustration. He didn’t, though, deciding to wait until after the game to lash out.

“Unfortunately, I think this league is going in a direction that a lot of people don’t like. I think they’re getting soft,” Matthews said bluntly. “The only thing hard about this league is the fines they levy down on guys like me that play the game hard.”

Matthews’ anger was nothing compared to coach Mike McCarthy’s. Though far from mild mannered, McCarthy rarely loses it to the point he did on Sunday. FOX cameras caught McCarthy, now in his 13th year leading the team, needing to be held back as he chased after one official, screaming and pointing.

“I thought Clay did exactly what he was supposed to do there,” McCarthy said after the game. “How it’s being officiated, those are questions for other people. He hit him with his shoulder. He was coming full speed off a block and braced himself, so I was fine with what Clay did.”

The NFL was not. The operations arm of the league took to Twitter to point out the exact rule that Matthews broke, backing up referee Craig Wrolstad, who then spoke for himself after the game.

“I had judged the defender landed on the quarterback when he was tackling him with most or all of his body weight and that’s not allowed,” Wrolstad said, according to a pool reporter. “If you do that, it’s roughing the passer.”

OK, but what could he have done different?

“If you’ve got a shoulder into him and then landed on him with most of his body weight off him or released him when he went down, they he would have been OK,” Wrolstad said.

What? You’re asking a 250-pound man to stop all of his momentum from a perfect form tackle — a style of tackle Matthews has been doing for the entire 20 years he’s played the game? How? And more importantly, why? The ball wasn’t out of Smith’s hands. He wasn’t defenseless. Matthews didn’t hit him in the head or below the knees. It was exactly what youth players all over the country grew up trying to emulate and yet the NFL doesn’t want it in its game.

Mind you, this wasn’t the same kind of hit Rodgers took last year against Minnesota. That was him throwing the ball, and linebacker Anthony Barr grabbing him, scooping him up and falling with all of his weight on him. That’s the type of hit the league can do without. Not one where the quarterback still has the ball and is trying to make a play.

Was Matthews’ hit violent? Hell, yeah, it was violent. Football is a violent game. Trying to legislate that out is foolish and it can only take you so far before you’re watching a game that you don’t recognize.

Whether that actually bothers the NFL is not really open for debate. It’s pretty clear the league doesn’t care what the viewing public thinks about the direction of the game. And that’s largely because that while the push back against the penalties has been strong, it’s not going to stop real fans from watching their team. The same people that are so passionate about how ridiculous the calls have been, are the same ones that will be back next week when Green Bay takes on Buffalo.

But that doesn’t mean the league should ignore it. In two straight weeks, the Packers had potentially game-changing plays taken away because of hits that no one outside of the league offices believe should be illegal. That’s a problem that needs to be dealt with.

Packers vs Vikings: Grades

A rarity happened for the second week in a row in the NFL, a tie. Week 1 it was the Browns and Steelers, and this week it’s the Packers and Vikings. Here’s how Green Bay’s offense, defense, and special teams graded out in the 29-29 tie against the Minnesota Vikings.

Offense: B-

When a team puts up nearly 30 points, typically a grade higher than this week’s “B-“ is given. However, Green Bay attempted six field goals on the day and Mason Crosby connected on five of them, but the reality is that an offense led by Aaron Rodgers shouldn’t be settling for three points that often.

Rodgers’ knee was an issue, no question. The signal-caller wasn’t as mobile as he normally is, and it seems as if this is going to be an issue for the foreseeable future with the Packers. Despite the knee issue, he still had a fine game, throwing for 281 yards and a score. Rodgers spread the ball around well, as Randall Cobb, Geronimo Allison, Davante Adams, and Jimmy Graham all finished the game with four or more catches.

The running game was average as well. After getting off to a fast start rushing the ball, Green Bay finished with only 101 yards rushing on the day.

Defense: D+

There are several places this could begin. Allowing Kirk Cousins to torch the secondary, Clay Matthews’ questionable roughing the passer penalty that kept the Vikings alive, or the inability to contain either Stefon Diggs or Adam Thielen.

Cousins was fantastic for Minnesota as he finished with 425 yards passing and four touchdowns compared to one interception. He led the Vikings back from down 29-21 with less than two minutes remaining in regulation to tie the game up. That touchdown to Thielen was a thing of beauty as he placed the ball in an incredibly small window for the score. The 2-point conversion was an easy throw to Diggs who ran a terrific route to shake free in the back corner of the end zone. He may not be worth every penny he signed for this offseason, but he proved he can be a franchise quarterback.

The penalty on Matthews gave Minnesota new life on the game-tying drive. Cousins was intercepted deep down the field on a play that would have likely put the nail in Minnesota’s coffin, but Matthews was flagged for roughing the passer – for the second week in a row – to extend the game.

Last week’s call against Matthews was a blatant one and a correct one, this one was a bit of a gray area. Matthews was flagged for driving Cousins into the turf with his body weight. Plenty of Packers fans are going to be mad about the call, but by the letter of the rule book there’s reason to call it. And remember, this rule probably isn’t in place if Rodgers doesn’t get hurt on a similar play against Minnesota last season.

Special Teams: B+

This group saw extreme positives – a blocked punt for a touchdown, a 51.8-yard average for J.K. Scott – and some extreme negatives – Crosby’s missed would-have-been-game-winner, allowing a 37-yard average on kickoff returns – in the tie.

Teams typically don’t lose games in which they block a kick of some sort, and technically the Packers didn’t lose on Sunday even though it may feel like it. That play was huge, especially on a day when the offense isn’t operating at 100pecent due to the health of Rodgers. Scott was excellent, too for the Packers. The only mistake he had was the touchback in the overtime period. Had Minnesota had to operate from deep inside its own territory things may have turned out differently. That seems nitpicky, though.

Crosby was great for the Packers – connecting on his first five field goal attempts – until he wasn’t. After his make from 52 yards out was wiped out due to a timeout just prior to the snap by Minnesota, he missed the second try that would have won the game. It’s hard to look past that. The loss certainly isn’t on Crosby, by any stretch, but the Packers would be feeling much better had he made that attempt from 52 yards out.

Fun Fact: A

According to Elias Sports Bureau, this was the first game in NFL history to finish in a 29-29 tie.

Packers still unsure if Aaron Rodgers will play Sunday

Aaron Rodgers’ status for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings remains up in the air.

Coach Mike McCarthy said Friday morning that the Green Bay Packers quarterback is continuing to go through the rehab process for a knee injury suffered last Sunday against Chicago.

“Aaron’s getting better,” McCarthy told reporters. “I would say he feels better than he did at the beginning of the week. (Saturday’s) practice will be a pretty big indicator [on if he’ll play].”

Unlike most NFL teams, the Packers take Friday off from practice and hold a practice on Saturday instead. That will allow Rodgers an extra day of rehab before giving him one final chance to do something on the practice field.

“He can play with no reps. We’ve established that point some time ago in his career,” McCarthy said. “You’d like to walk off the field Saturday and have your plan set, but this is the National Football League. Things happen.”

With Rodgers not practicing this week, DeShone Kizer and Tim Boyle have split the reps. Kizer would get the start if Rodgers does not play.

Packers: Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams miss practice with injuries

Aaron Rodgers wants to play Sunday against Minnesota, but it remains unclear if he’ll be allowed to.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback was one of three players not to practice at all Wednesday as he deals with a left knee injury that he labeled a sprain. Rodgers was injured in the first half of the season opener against Chicago and was eventually taken by a cart back to the locker room. When the team came back out for the second half, though, he was with them. His return sparked an epic comeback that saw Green Bay erase a 20-0 deficit and win 24-23.

“A lot of adrenaline Sunday night,” Rodgers said when asked how he made it through the game. “Then, obviously, pretty sore the last three days.”

Rodgers didn’t even come down to the practice field on Wednesday, instead staying up at the stadium to receive treatment.

“I’m feeling a little better,” Rodgers said. “Feeling a little better every day — Monday, Tuesday and now [Wednesday].”

This is not the first time Rodgers has dealt with an injury to the knee. He tore the ACL in the knee at age 16 and didn’t actually get it fixed until college. He then had a procedure to clean it up following the 2015 season.

“I know what it feels like to play with something like this,” Rodgers said. “Hopefully I’ll be at a point where I can on Sunday.”

The quarterback wasn’t the only star to miss practice. Wide receiver Davante Adams was held out with a shoulder injury suffered against Chicago. He told reporters that as long as he tackles his treatment throughout the week, he should be good to go against Minnesota.