While the availability of Packers LT Chad Clifton for this Sunday’s game against the Vikings remains uncertain, another Packers player who was not in the lineup during the Week 4 Vikings win over Green Bay is certain to suit up after recovering from an injury.
Starting S Atari Bigby, who suffered a knee injury during the season opener and missed the next 3 games, returned to the lineup last week against the Cleveland Browns and recorded 4 tackles and 1 pass defensed. He was not listed on this week’s injury report.
Bigby has struggled with injuries during his career, missing 9 games in 2008 with a shoulder injury and then the 3 games already this year. But when he is in the lineup, Bigby makes a difference. He was named NFC Defensive Player of the Month in December of 2007, recorded 7 tackles, a forced fumble and a pass defensed in his 1st career playoff game and also had an interception against the Vikings last year in the season opener.
Aside from a nose for the ball, Bigby is also known as an excellent tackler and fierce hitter. Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress was asked about Bigby’s presence in this game and what it means to the Packers, especially considering Bigby wasn’t able to play in the first Vikings-Packers game this year.
“Well I think they are a different team,” Childress said of the Packers with Bigby in the lineup. “Atari is a good player. He has a bunch of experience. He’s a proven hammer in the run game. It allows Nick Collins to get back in center field and not have to play up by the line of scrimmage as much because Atari kind of takes that role for them.”
In the 3 games Bigby has played this season, the Packers are allowing 139.3 passing yards per game. In the 3 games Bigby has missed this season, Green Bay has allowed 208.6 yards per game.
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