The Green Bay Packers will again be without starting strong safety Morgan Burnett when they host the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night.
Burnett was downgraded from questionable to out on Sunday after aggravating his calf strain during Friday’s practice and presumably not making it back onto the field for the Packers' final run-through. It’s the same injury that kept the sixth-year veteran out of the regular-season opener against Chicago two weeks ago.
His absence is a significant blow for the Packers and their run defense. The defense has allowed 899 total yards (and 382 on the ground) in the two games Burnett has been sidelined with a calf injury the past two seasons.
After giving up 189 yards to the Bears and Matt Forte, the Packers managed to contain Marshawn Lynch to 15 carries for 41 yards in Sunday’s 27-17 win over Seattle thanks in part to Burnett’s return to the box. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix will take his place with defensive back Micah Hyde likely sliding into centerfield.
Hyde, a good run-defending nickel cornerback, played well enough in place of Burnett, but the move takes both out of their best positions. Clinton-Dix struggled with sealing gaps and missed tackles in the opener. The Packers have a tall task at hand in trying to contain all-pro running back Jamaal Charles.
The Packers should have running back Eddie Lacy and receiver Davante Adams available, though. Both players evidently did enough on their sprained ankles in Sunday’s practice to convince the coaching staff to upgrade them from questionable to probable.
Lacy took some team snaps in Friday’s practice, a good sign he’ll at least be able to shoulder the load with veteran James Starks. Adams returned in the second half against the Seahawks before sitting out of Thursday’s practice.
The Packers also upgraded rookie fullback Aaron Ripkowski from questionable to probable after being a late addition to the injury report this week with a shoulder injury. Cornerback Sam Shields was also added on Sunday with a calf injury he’s probable to play through.
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