GREEN BAY — The Packers’ top-ranked run defense got back on track in Thursday’s win over Chicago, limiting the Bears to only 69 yards on 18 carries.
While rookie defensive tackle Kenny Clark played only 15 snaps in the 26-10 victory, the Packers’ first-round pick made his presence felt with two tackles on back-to-back plays in the second quarter.
The first came on a 3-yard gain by Jordan Howard for a first down, but what was impressive was how Clark raced down the Bears running back near the sideline for the stop.
On the next play, Clark then stuffed Ka’Deem Carey for a 1-yard loss, which ultimately set the table for the defense stopping the Bears’ drive.
So far, Clark has been responsible for 148 of the 620 defensive snaps that Packers rookies have played this season, racking up 10 tackles and a pass deflection in six games.
“He’s playing faster,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “I think you can definitely see Kenny’s very comfortable in what he’s doing now. You’re definitely seeing the instincts now kick in and making plays.”
The Packers, who reclaimed the top spot in NFL run defense this past week, are allowing 72.4 yards per game on the ground this season.
The team will hold a padded practice on Thursday with linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring) scheduled to participate on a limited basis, according to McCarthy.
Running back Don Jackson appeared to get a good report back on his injury hand. The undrafted rookie was a full participant during Wednesday’s practice, utilizing extra padding to protect his injured hand.