Notebook: No. 1 Line Looks Intact

It appears left tackle Chad Clifton and left guard Daryn Colledge will start on Monday. Plus, we have the final injury reports and more from Saturday.

The most talked-about knees in Green Bay might be a nonissue.

Starting left tackle Chad Clifton and starting left guard Daryn Colledge were the No. 1 duo at Saturday's practice and both are listed as probable for the Packers' Week 3 showdown at Chicago.

Clifton's knees have responded well this week after he was benched in the second quarter last week against Buffalo. Coach Mike McCarthy said he was concerned about Colledge on Friday, when he was held out of practice after getting rolled up by B.J. Raji on Thursday. Both players took the bulk of the starters' reps during the portion of Saturday's practice that was open to reporters, with first-round pick Bryan Bulaga working in at both spots.

"Really, Chad Clifton is our starting left tackle, and if Chad is ready to go, he'll play there and our rotation will be the same as it's been," McCarthy said. "It's a medical decision. He's in the stage of his career that his particular knee situation is a little bit unpredictable, so we'll see how he is Monday."

Colledge hasn't missed a game as a professional and made 52 consecutive starts at Boise State, too.

"I don't think I've missed a game for anything," he said. "Except maybe when I was in a baseball league in the summer, I think I missed my first football game once. Other than that, I've never missed a game due to injury, which is (knocking on his wooden locker stall) -- there's a lot of factors that go into that. I work hard to be in shape and stay healthy. But, there's a lot of luck involved in there. The training staff has always done a great job of taking care of me whenever there was nicks and bruises, and they've always had a way of putting me back on the field. I think that's something to be said for those guys."

Jones a question mark

Starting outside linebacker Brad Jones is listed as questionable, meaning it's a 50-50 proposition that he'll be on the field on Monday. Jones injured a knee during the first quarter against Buffalo but played most of the game.

"He's done our jog-through, walk-through stuff but he's been limited at practice this week," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. "So, it's just going to be one of those things where we're going to have to evaluate how he does from this point on. It might be a game-time decision."

While fellow outside linebacker Clay Matthews has six sacks, Jones has none, but Capers said Jones is playing better than the lack of impact plays would indicate. Jones' 14 tackles trail Matthews' team-high figure by two.

"Last game, he got hurt early in the game so he played a lot of the game nursing the thing a little bit," Capers said. "I think he's done fine. He's done the things we've asked him to do. I think he's been fairly consistent."

Packers injury report

Questionable: LB Brad Jones (knee), DE Mike Neal (side/rib), S Charlie Peprah (quad), DE Ryan Pickett (hamstring). Probable: LB Desmond Bishop (hamstring), LT Chad Clifton (knees), G Daryn Colledge (knee), TE Tom Crabtree (arch), FB Korey Hall (hip), DE Cullen Jenkins (hand), S Derrick Martin (ankle), LB Clay Matthews (hamstring), LB Brady Poppinga (knee), CB Brandon Underwood (shoulder), CB Charles Woodson (toe).

McCarthy said he's being "smart" with Pickett but was much more pessimistic about Neal, who figures to miss a third consecutive game. Neal, Peprah and Martin were the only players who were held out of practice. Clifton, Jones and Pickett were limited. Everyone else was a full participant.

Bears injury report

Out: LT Chris Williams (hamstring), S Major Wright (hamstring). Probable: LB Lance Briggs (ankle), DT Israel Idonije (foot), LB Brian Iwuh (quad), LB Nick Roach (hamstring).

Without Williams, the Bears will go with the same offensive line that protected Jay Cutler so well against Dallas' version of the 3-4 last week. Right tackle Frank Omiyale moves from right tackle to left, with Kevin Schaffer stepping in at right tackle. "We beat a good football team with that combination so, yeah, we feel real good about that," coach Lovie Smith said.

Division domination

To win the division, you've got to win division games. McCarthy has done that better than anyone else, with a 17-7 mark against NFC North foes since he was hired in 2006. Chicago is next during that span at 15-10.

"Well, they're important games, and we go about it with high importance," McCarthy said. "We spend extra time on our division opponents in the offseason, which I'm sure every NFL club does. We just try to focus on our opponents with the offseason studies and apply it in our training camp, and we've been fortunate to play big in these big games. Your path is through the ability to win games in the division. On top of it this is such a great rivalry. It's exciting to be able to get down there and play Monday night. But there's no secret, football is still football."

Four-point stance

-- For players who are used to playing at noon or 3 p.m. on a Sunday, playing on Monday night means a long wait. "Monday night, that's probably one of the negatives, the day. Monday is a long day," McCarthy said. "You try to be very smart with your time. It's exciting once the ball's kicked off, but I do echo their sentiments. This is the game of the week to play in, but if you take today's practice -- it's a Saturday, but we're in a Friday mode, and their energy level was very high, because their clock is telling them it's time to play a game. So it's a long week."

-- Bears running back Matt Forte ranks third in the NFC with 188 receiving yards and is tied for second in the NFL with three receiving touchdowns. "All you have to do is watch that Lions game," Capers said. "The Lions go up 14-3 on them and Forte takes a screen for 89 yards and a touchdown. He gives them great versatility. He's kind of a slashing runner but a really outstanding receiver. Really good football player. He's off to a heck of a start."

-- Last year, the Packers led the NFL with 40 takeaways. Through two games, they've forced only three. Still, all three have been turned into touchdowns, with those 21 points trailing only the Colts' 24. Green Bay tied New Orleans for the league lead in points off turnovers in 2009 (141) and led the league in 2008 (124).

-- Green Bay has won 13 of its last 17 trips to Soldier Field, though last year's win snapped a two-year skid. During McCarthy's tenure, he's 6-1 in September road games. That's tied with Indianapolis for the best mark.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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