After 2,033 straight snaps, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix gets well-deserved rest

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix said he did not mind taking a break if it means it will extend his longevity. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix didn't realize at first what it meant when the Green Bay Packers defensive coaches rested him for the final eight plays of last week's blowout win over the Chicago Bears.

As the Pro Bowl safety watched the final minutes from the sideline at Lambeau Field, it hit him.

The last time he stood in that position -- where he did not play every snap on defense -- was nearly two years ago.

“I actually thought about that for a split second,” Clinton-Dix said. “But at the end of the day, I felt good and they didn't need me to go back on the field.”

At first, Clinton-Dix didn't even recall the last time he missed a snap. When told it was Week 10 of the 2015 season against the Detroit Lions, he quickly remembered.

“When I had a concussion, got dinged,” Clinton-Dix recalled.

It happened on the Packers' fourth-to-last defensive snap of the game, when he collided with Lions running back Theo Riddick. He missed the final three plays while being evaluated for a concussion.

Of course, those were the only three snaps he missed that season. He returned the next week and played every snap. The same thing the next week and the week after and so on for 29 straight games, including playoffs.

After his 2,033rd straight snap, Clinton-Dix rested.

“It's most definitely a sense of pride, but people know I could've played those snaps,” Clinton-Dix said. “It's not like I couldn't have played those snaps. That's kind of what I took from it. I could've played those snaps but it was a relief to just sit there and watch and get some fresh legs in there and feel the game a little bit.

“We were up by 28 points or whatever it was, it was a sigh a relief. We were celebrating a victory, and it was time to relax.”

Just a month earlier, before the regular-season opener, Clinton-Dix was asked about the 2016 season, when he played all 1,236 defensive snaps, including playoffs. He was one of only four players in the NFL last season to play every one of his team's defensive snaps.

“The more I look at that, it's definitely a blessing and definitely a pat on the back,” he said at the time. “I'm thinking more longevity for me. If I've got to come out for a few plays in order to get back right and make sure I catch my wind so I can be ready for the next play, I'll do that.”

Clinton-Dix has never missed a game because of injury and so far in his career he has played 3,709 of a possible 3,873 defensive snaps -- or 95.8 percent of the Packers' defensive plays since they picked him in the first round of the 2014 draft.

As he reflected on that, Clinton-Dix brought up receiver Davante Adams, his teammate who had to be carted off the field on a gurney Thursday night after he took a helmet hit from Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan.

“It's actually a blessing to be able to walk off that field win, lose or draw,” Clinton-Dix said. "If you walk off that field healthy, that's the important thing.”