In the first meeting between the teams, the Vikings recorded eight sacks of Aaron Rodgers, thanks in large part to a makeshift offensive line that was without starter Chad Clifton and, as a result, the Packers had three players lined up out of the positions that had been playing prior to the injury. The Vikings feasted on them and it made a significant difference in the outcome. It's become more likely that change is in the air again for the Packers offensive front.
Clifton was limited to individual work on the side at practice Thursday as he attempts to recover from an ankle injury.
It's looking more and more likely that Clifton will miss Sunday's game. If so, it is expected that rookie T.J. Lang would get the start and be asked to line up opposite Jared Allen. To add injury to insult, center Jason Spitz has missed both practices this week with a back injury and it appears that he will be replaced by veteran backup Scott Wells.
"He came in (Thursday) morning, and he's not ready to go," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said of Spitz. "I don't know if you want to call it a setback, but I thought he was about ready. His workout last Friday before the Cleveland Brown game was very good. He felt no pain and we felt like we were out of the woods at that point. But that is not true, as of yesterday and today."
Heading into a huge divisional rivalry, teams want to be at their best with all their weapons. The Packers didn't have that in the first meeting due to O-line injuries and it's starting to look like that problem is going to repeat itself Sunday.
"We have a 1 o'clock game management meeting every Friday. We'll talk about it then as a staff with the coordinators and so forth," McCarthy said. "I'll probably be ready to give the answer either Saturday or Saturday night. I'll probably tell the players Saturday night."