Packers hoping to disarm Peterson

Arm tackles have been the undoing of the Packers' run defense, and they know they can't lose their defensive discipline if they want to limit Adrian Peterson and the Vikings' run defense. See what the Packers' players had to say about their own issues and the Vikings' running back.

As the rushing yards keep piling up by their opponents, so does the frequency of arm tackling by the Packers defenders.

Green Bay's inability to stop the run for most of the season so far is partly attributable to linemen, linebackers and safeties failing to stand their ground and stay in their gaps.

"You know what, a lot of arm tackling is because we're out of gaps, we're not where we're supposed to be," nose tackle Ryan Pickett lamented this week. "If we're where we're supposed to be, we can fit up and tackle. So, it's a lot of reaching when we're not in our gaps and somebody's not covering their gap right.

"If we can get in place, then we can get some good, hard hitting in and hopefully stop all of this arm tackling."

If they're left to try to arm tackle the Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson on Sunday, the Packers will be in a heap of trouble stopping the run. The ultra-elusive Peterson is the focal point for the Green Bay defense in what is being billed as a pivotal matchup of 4-4 NFC North rivals in Minneapolis.

Peterson is the No. 2 rusher in the NFL, averaging 102.9 yards per game. The Packers have the sixth-most generous run defense in the league, yielding an average of 146.4 yards per contest.

When the teams first met in the season opener Sept. 8 at Green Bay, Peterson ran for 103 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, but the Packers managed to eke out a 24-19 win.

"You pick an attribute, and he's right there at the top, whether it's speed, vision, endurance," Packers defensive end Aaron Kampman said of Peterson. "He does a great job of seeing holes. He's become more and more patient with his blocking. I think him and his offensive line have gotten better since the last time we've seen them. We have as well, I believe. So, it'll be a great opportunity to execute on Sunday."

Interestingly, the Vikings, who had 187 yards in the Week 1 meeting, are the only team Green Bay has beaten this season when it has allowed at least 175 rushing yards. The other four instances resulted in losses — 217 yards by Dallas in Week 3, 178 by Tampa Bay in Week 4, 176 by Atlanta in Week 5 and 178 by Tennessee last Sunday.

NOTES

  • QB Aaron Rodgers on Thursday had his most work in practice since he suffered a sprained throwing shoulder in the Sept. 28 game at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rodgers has played with the injury the last four games and will be ready to make the start again Sunday at the Minnesota Vikings.

  • LT Chad Clifton was a full participant in practice Thursday after being limited the previous day. He is expected to rejoin the starting lineup Sunday. Clifton didn't play in the Packers' overtime loss at the Tennessee Titans last Sunday after he had an allergic reaction to anti-inflammatory medicine he received a few hours before the game.

  • CB Charles Woodson was limited to the jog-through portion at the start of practice for the second straight day, strictly a precautionary routine he has been on every week since the starter suffered a broken toe in the Sept. 8 season-opening win over the Vikings. Woodson hasn't been affected by the toe in recent weeks and will be ready for Sunday.

  • LB Desmond Bishop was a full participant in practice for the second straight day and appears to have recovered from a strained hamstring that kept the backup and special teams contributor out of the last game. He likely will be available to play Sunday.

  • WR Donald Driver will go into Sunday's game needing a catch to set a franchise record for consecutive games with a reception. Driver is tied with record-setter Sterling Sharpe at 103 straight games in regular-season play.


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