Chad Clifton

You thought tackle Chad Clifton‘s career was over when the Green Bay Packers released him, didn’t you?

Well, not if Chad Clifton has anything to say about it. Clifton is rehabilitating his back and hopes to continue playing.

“Right now, I’m back in Nashville, trying to get my back as strong as possible, just trying to get healthy, and we’ll take it from there,” Clifton said. “If there’s interest, we’ll see if I’m interested and kind of play it by ear.”

Obviously, the big question is if anyone will be interested in a 36-year-old left tackle who was shaky at best when he was in the lineup in 2011. If he can get healthy — the Packers failed him on his physical — Clifton’s best shot at getting back into the league might be as an injury replacement. Most teams are currently set on the offensive line.

Although he called his release a bitter pill to swallow, Clifton isn’t harboring any ill will. Not only did he say he knew it was a possibility and he’d be pulling for his replacement, Marshall Newhouse, he also had some pretty great things to say about Green Bay.

“There’s a lot of great guys and a lot of great people in that organization. Just not being around those guys on a regular basis, you’re definitely going to miss that,” Clifton said. “My 12 years in Green Bay have been phenomenal for me and my family. Playing for the Packers and having the greatest fans in professional sports back you every week, always a sold out stadium, it’s been a lot of fun. It’s been my honor to play in Green Bay.”

Classy.

Hat tip to Chad Clifton for being the consummate professional and representing the Green Bay Packers the way he did.