BBAO: Packers confident in Chad Clifton

We're Black and Blue All Over:

We've spent so much time this summer discussing the Green Bay Packers' left guard competition, won by veteran T.J. Lang, that we haven't really noted that left tackle Chad Clifton has spent much of training camp on a strict practice regimen designed to limit wear and tear on his knees. With relatively little practice under his belt, Clifton looked pretty rusty in Friday night's preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts.

But as Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com points out, the Packers have no concern about Clifton's durability and availability for the season, even with his heir apparent -- rookie Derek Sherrod -- now working as the second-team left tackle. Here's what coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Sunday:

"I have all the confidence in the world in Chad Clifton. Like I've stated, Chad Clifton's played at a Pro Bowl level in my time here, and I expect him to play at that level this year. I don't know what else to tell you. He had a handful of plays I'm sure he wishes he had back."

Clifton's rough night came against a pretty good opponent in Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney, who had two sacks. Clifton also was called for an obvious hold on a play that wiped out a touchdown. It seems that similar concerns have arisen about Clifton most every summer, and he's managed to push through the season. The fact that the Packers drafted a player at his position in the first round makes things a little more interesting this year, but I really don't think the Packers want Sherrod replacing Clifton anytime soon.

Continuing around the NFC North: