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Cheese Curds, 11/7: With Whitehead gone, what are Packers’ plans at safety?

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The surprise cut leaves the Packers with yet another question to answer on the back end of the defense.

Green Bay Packers v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

For the second straight Wednesday, Green Bay Packers fans are asking how the team will replace a safety who has been playing significant snaps this season. A week ago, we were trying to figure out how the team would adjust to trading away Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who had missed essentially no snaps in the last two-plus seasons. This week, it’s the release of hybrid safety/slot corner/dime linebacker Jermaine Whitehead that has fans of the Green and Gold wondering what is to come.

We learned a bit more about the reasons for Whitehead’s release late on Tuesday, as you’ll see in today’s Cheese Curds, though the explicit rationale has not yet been discussed publicly. (Keep an eye out for Mike McCarthy’s press conference today to see what his response is about that move, however.)

Regardless, there’s another hole in the lineup, and the way that the Packers covered up that hole after Whitehead’s ejection on Sunday can give us some indication as to how the team will adjust. One critical piece will be utilizing Josh Jones more on defense, whether that’s in a traditional safety role or as a linebacker in Nitro alignments. Another key piece may be Ibraheim Campbell, the recently-acquired safety who has experience in Mike Pettine’s defense.

Kevin King’s injury complicates things, as the coaching staff may determine that they need Tramon Williams at cornerback again this week. They could keep him at safety and start a trio of Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson, and Bashaud Breeland, but they’ll need a contingency plan at a minimum.

At least the Packers get to play against the Dolphins and quarterback Brock Osweiler this week, who has thrown for just 6.2 yards per attempt over the past two games. Osweiler also has no touchdowns and one interception in that time.

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It sounds like the front office did not think too highly of Whitehead in general, despite his ability to play multiple positions on defense. While his ejection on Sunday may have been the impetus for the move, it certainly wasn’t the sole reason.

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Rob Demovsky predicts that the Packers will go 6-2 in the second half of the season, which would put them at 9-6-1 overall. There's a chance that might be enough to win the division, but that probably would require a win over the Vikings in three weeks, which is not in the prediction.

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Apparently there are ways that Hot Pockets can harm you beyond just boiling-hot cheese on the roof of your mouth and buildup in your arteries.