After yielding three sacks to Cincinnati’s Antwan Odom on Sunday, Daryn Colledge will face Chris Long and Jared Allen the next two games as the Packers’ starting left tackle.
Coach Mike McCarthy on Wednesday said veteran left tackle Chad Clifton will miss at least the next two games — at St. Louis and at Minnesota — with an ankle sprained against the Bengals.
“Obviously, I didn’t step up to the challenge last weekend, but I’m excited for it this week,” Colledge said. “I feel like I’m more prepared, and with that preparation comes confidence. This weekend, no holding back. I’ve got to go out and perform. I warned ‘Cliff,’ I said, ‘If I get too comfortable out there, maybe he’s the one sitting on the bench.’”
Colledge, who had been anchored at left guard since the first day of offseason workouts, was worked over by Odom upon replacing Clifton. Odom had three sacks all of last season but got that in less than 30 minutes last week.
“He’s getting all the reps at left tackle, so I don’t think we need to adjust the practice schedule,” McCarthy said. “Anytime we prepare for a game, there’s always the group activity, the team activity, and we do post-practice drills and post-practice meetings and things like that. That’s really the individual work that’s needed from an extra standpoint, that’s when that occurs.”
The challenge on Sunday will be Long, who was the No. 2 overall pick of the 2008 draft. He had four sacks as a rookie but none in two games this year.
It’s Colledge or bust — or busted, in case of Aaron Rodgers, who’s been sacked 10 times this season. Next in line are rookie T.J. Lang and second-year player Breno Giacomini. Lang was a left tackle at Eastern Michigan but has played primarily at guard and right tackle in Green Bay.
Colledge, who filled in at left tackle at Miami as a rookie and last season at Tennessee, says he’s picking up the nuances of the position “and Sunday, we’ll get it done.”
McCarthy provided updates on a few other injured players.
— Safety Nick Collins (knocked out Sunday with a sprained clavicle): “I think Nick Collins is going to do everything he can to play. He was limited today as far as the actual official category he fell into, but he was out there today. I anticipate Nick will play but the week will answer that question.”
— Defensive end B.J. Raji (missed both games with ankle): “I hope so. The practice will answer that. I need to watch him live for three days and make sure he responds every day. I’m as excited as he is to see him get out and play, but he needs to be ready to go. We’ll see how he does this week.”
Meanwhile, outside linebacker Aaron Kampman has a bruised hand and wore a protective cast at practice, and running back Brandon Jackson (sprained ankle) practiced for the first time since the injury on Aug. 22 vs. Buffalo. Kampman said the injury wasn’t an issue, and showed off its flexibility and normal skin color for the TV cameras.
Given the offense’s struggles, Jackson knows it’s imperative for him to get on the field.
“With my abilities, I feel like I can help the offense out a lot,” he said.
Packers — Safety Atari Bigby (knee), out; left tackle Chad Clifton (ankle), did not participate; safety Nick Collins (chest), limited participation; kicker Mason Crosby (abdomen), limited; fullback Korey Hall (shoulder/concussion), limited: running back Brandon Jackson (ankle), limited: linebacker Aaron Kampman (hand), full participation; defensive lineman B.J. Raji (ankle), full.
St. Louis — Center Jason Brown (knee), limited participation; safety Craig Dahl (hamstring), limited; guard John Greco (wrist), limited; safety David Roach (groin), limited; tackle Jason Smith (knee), did not participate.
News from St. Louis
— The Rams released receiver/kick returner Derek Stanley, a native of Madison and an All-American at Division III UW-Whitewater. Stanley was productive with a 12.3-yard average on punt returns this season and a 25.1-yard average on kickoff returns in 2007 and 2008.
“We came in today and we found out about it,” quarterback Marc Bulger said in a conference call with Packers beat reporters. “With a new staff and obviously starting out 0-2, we know there’s going to be changes. Derrick’s a great athlete, great person, and we wish him the best. It’s always unfortunate when you lose a friend and a teammate.”
— Brown, the standout center signed from Baltimore in free agency, sprained a knee at Washington on Sunday but vows to play against Green Bay. He hasn’t missed a game in his career. Smith, the No. 2 overall pick in April’s draft, is out and will be replaced at right tackle by Adam Goldberg.
— The Rams are expecting a sellout on Sunday, thanks to the migration of thousands of Packers fans.
“Packers fans, they go everywhere,” Bulger said. “Packers fans and Pittsburgh fans and a couple teams that travel well (like) Dallas, we know they’re going to come down. There’s no stopping them, so one way to get our fans going is to come out fast and get a lead and win this game.”
— The Packers could face safety Anthony Smith and receiver Ruvell Martin. Neither have played in the Rams’ first two games as they learn the schemes.
Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo laughed when asked if he’d be digging for information from them.
“You’ve got to be careful with that, you never know what you’re getting,” Spagnuolo said, “but nah, just like I’m sure Mike’s done, coaches do their research and work on teams. I’m sure they know a lot about us and hopefully we know enough about them to have a good football game.”
— Another former Packer on the roster is running back Samkon Gado. He was signed late last season, after he had landed a job working as an assistant in the emergency room at a hospital in Columbia, S.C. Gado, who rushed for 582 yards and six touchdowns for the Packers in 2005, hasn’t touched the ball in two games.
“Sam’s been playing a lot on special teams,” Spagnuolo said. “He hasn’t gotten that many reps at the running back spot right now. Basically, he’s been a core special teams player for us.”
— Spagnuolo, in his first year as coach, has seen his team lose 28-0 at Seattle and 9-7 at Washington.
“Not great in the win-loss column, but everything else I’m fairly pleased with,” he said. “I’m most pleased with the attitude and the effort of the guys. To me, that’s of utmost importance right now. We certainly want to win some games, but I like the way the locker room is.”
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