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Tuesday Cheese Curds: Kenny Clark returns to form

After a sluggish start to 2019, the fourth year defensive lineman has come back with a vengeance

Wild Card Round - New York Giants v Green Bay Packers
GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8: Kenny Clark #97 of the Green Bay Packers reacts in the third quarter during the NFC Wild Card game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

When the Green Bay Packers released defensive lineman Mike Daniels this offseason, the torch for being the anchor of the defensive line was passed to Kenny Clark.

Even though Clark finished 2018 on injured reserve, many expected he would return to the dominant form that made him a rising star over the course of his first three seasons.

Then the unexpected happened: it didn’t, and Green Bay was awful along the defensive line, especially when it came to stopping the run. Clark was also dogged by a shin injury earlier in the season than in hindsight must have hindered his effectiveness.

It’s “in hindsight” because Kenny Clark is back and back with a vengeance as evidenced in his destructive performance against Washington.

Clark doubled his sack total on the year to three (he earned 1.5 versus Washington after getting 1.5 in the previous 12 games combined) and was making life absolutely miserable for Adrian Peterson and the Washington offensive line all afternoon.

With a big payday looming this offseason, Clark made his case to the Packers to keep him going forward he figures to bey a key figure on defense the rest of the season. The Packers have improved against the run and that’s not a coincidence with being healthy again. Now that we’re midway through December, stopping the run will be key to any playoff run the Packers want to make.

So sing it with us once again: Kenny Clark doo doo doo doo doo doo….

Here are the rest of today’s curds.

After 10-game drought, Packers’ Kenny Clark gets back on track with sacks—

Memo to Brian Gutekunst: pay the man, otherwise some other team will.

Much-needed fourth-quarter drive produced key field goal for Packers—

While the offense was disjointed for most of the game on Sunday, it made the plays it needed to even if it didn’t result in touchdowns. Thankfully Mason Crosby is having a career year.

Packers TE Marcedes Lewis was a run-blocking machine vs. Redskins—Packers Wire

A week after his first receiving touchdown, Marcedes Lewis got back to what has kept him around for so long: being a fantastic blocker. Aaron Jones had another big day and while the offensive line deserves a lot of credit, so does a tight end who thrives doing the dirty work.

Ex-Packers coach Mike McCarthy eyes NFL return in 2020–

McCarthy clearly got the message that he needed to evolve and he took extraordinary steps by basically building his own staff without having a team to coach to help prepare himself to return to the sidelines in 2020.

Texas police officer rescues skunk, flees from spray—UPI

What an ungrateful skunk. Police officers are some of the most fearless among us but even they don’t want to smell like skunk for days.