ESPN Wisconsin

McCarthy targets Dec. 4 for Clifton's return

Nov 15, 2011 -- 9:09pm

GREEN BAY – Chad Clifton won’t be back for this Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay, and the Green Bay Packers veteran left tackle probably won’t be ready for the team’s Thanksgiving game at Detroit on Nov. 24.

But Clifton, who hasn’t played since suffering a significant hamstring injury Oct. 9 at Atlanta, could be back for the Packers’ Dec. 4 game against the New York Giants at Met Life Stadium at the Meadowlands if his progress continues at its current pace.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy delivered that news Tuesday, the first time he’s given any sort of timeline for Clifton’s possible return. McCarthy said he’d yet to talk to team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie, but suggested that Clifton has progressed well.

“I talked to Chad (Monday), but it’s never as clean as one conversation. I have not talked to Pat to see where he is,” McCarthy said. “I would have to say he’s not going to make it this week, Detroit would be a push and the Giants would probably be realistic if he stays on schedule.”

Speaking after the Packers’ Nov. 6 victory in San Diego, Clifton vowed he would return this season.

“We definitely don’t think I’m done for the year. Things are progressing nicely. It feels a million times better even than it did the week before the bye, so that’s encouraging,” Clifton said at the time. “It is what it is. It’s going to be something I can come back from,” he said. “I’m not going to put a timeline on it. I’m just going to say I’m coming back as soon as possible.”

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