Chad Clifton released by Green Bay Packers after failed physical

The Green Bay Packers released offensive tackle Chad Clifton on Monday after he failed a physical, NFL Network's Michael Lombardi reported, citing a league source.

Clifton has been the Packers' primary left tackle since 2000, starting 160 games over 12 seasons with quarterbacks Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. He started only six games last season because of hamstring and back injuries.

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Packers general manager Ted Thompson later announced via an official team release that Clifton indeed had been let go.

"Chad is a great Packer and has been an integral part of our success over the past 12 seasons," Thompson said. "He was a member of some of the most prolific offenses in team history, but more importantly, he is a great person and teammate. We thank Chad for all that he has given the Packers on the field and in the community and wish him and his family well."

ESPN first reported the move.

Clifton ranks second in franchise history for the most games played by an offensive tackle (165), behind only Forrest Gregg, who played in 187. Clifton was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2010.

Clifton had back surgery during the offseason, and it is uncertain if he will play again.

The Packers announced later Monday that linebacker Erik Walden signed a contract to return to the team. The four-year veteran played in all 16 games with the Packers in 2011, starting 15, recording 86 tackles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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