Packers notes: End of Clinton-Dix's streak benefits younger safeties

Ryan Wood
Packers News
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Green Bay Packers free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (21) returns an interception past Bears tackle Charles Leno (72) on Sept. 28, 2017 at Lambeau Field.

GREEN BAY – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s long streak of consecutive snaps finally ended last week, but not without “a little bit” of protest.

No, the Green Bay Packers safety didn’t want to come off the field late in a blowout win against the Chicago Bears. Clinton-Dix had played 2,033 consecutive snaps, a streak that included every snap of the 2016 season and all but three in 2015. He has been the most consistently available player on the Packers' roster since being selected in the first round of the 2014 draft.

“He’s the same way in practice,” safeties coach Darren Perry said. “You try to give him a break, and he’ll wave the guys off. We kind of let him and Morgan (Burnett) go with their own discretion. Morgan’s a little more disciplined in that regard. Ha Ha is a little more resistant to sit, he likes to play, prideful guy.

“But I think he knows it’s a long season.”

Clinton-Dix had not left the field during a game since Week 10 of the 2015 season, a mid-November home game against the Detroit Lions. He missed only three plays while being evaluated for a concussion until he returned to the field. His streak lasted until the final eight plays of last week’s game against the Bears.

Perry said he didn’t mention anything about the streak while pulling Clinton-Dix back to the sideline.

“He’s older now,” Perry said. “I think he realizes there’s a bigger picture out there and so forth. The more we can get some of these other guys, get them some experience, it’s going to help us down the line.”

While keeping Clinton-Dix fresh is emphasized, the Packers also see added benefit in further developing their young depth at safety. Kentrell Brice and Marwin Evans, both in their second year, along with rookie Josh Jones are talented enough to play more snaps if they weren’t behind Clinton-Dix and Burnett.

If injuries should happen during the course of the season, Perry said he wants his young safeties to be ready.

“You think about last year,” Perry said, “we played with KB and Marwin in the championship and in the playoff game. You just never know how things are going to change.

“The more experience you can get, obviously there’s a trust factor that comes with that. It can only help.”

Fine time: Clinton-Dix was fined $24,309 for hitting Bears receiver Josh Bellamy’s head in last week’s game, a play that also drew a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness.

There was no further fine for Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan, who will lose a full game check when serving his one-game suspension for his vicious helmet-to-helmet hit on Packers receivers Davante Adams. With a $2 million base salary this season, Trevathan will lose $117,647 with his suspension.

On the mend: The Packers won't get any sympathy regarding injuries from the Dallas Cowboys, who also are looking at possibly having to play without some key performers Sunday.

Chief among them is linebacker Sean Lee, who is battling a hamstring injury. Lee has not participated in practice this week and was listed as questionable Friday.

Dallas also is uncertain about the availability of left tackle Tyron Smith, listed as questionable with a back injury, and defensive tackle Stephen Paea (questionable with a knee injury).  


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