This is going to be a different sort of Packers playoff run. They are the No. 1 seed instead of No. 6.
Unlike last year, they will also be welcoming back a host of injured starters for the first round of the playoffs. Packers coach Mike McCarthy expects everyone available for the team’s Divisional Round game.
That includes wideout Greg Jennings, who may start practicing on his injured knee this week. That includes right tackle Bryan Bulaga and running back James Starks, who both couldn’t have played in Week 17.
That also includes left tackle Chad Clifton. McCarthy made it clear on Monday that Clifton, not Marshall Newhouse, will start at left tackle in the playoffs.
Clifton returned for 25 plays against the Lions in the season finale. He didn’t look like his old self, but the team expects another two weeks to get ready will help.
“Chad Clifton is a damn good player,” McCarthy said.
The Packers get a host of damn good players back for the playoffs. The trick this year will be integrating them seamlessly back into the lineup.