Before the 1980 season even began, first-round draft pick Bruce Clark bolted directly for the Canadian Football League, never playing a down for the Packers. He forced a trade to the New Orleans Saints upon returning to the United States.
Green Bay regrouped and started strong by outlasting the Chicago Bears in an overtime thriller in the season opener. But with 27 players on injured reserved during the course of the year, the team was unable to replenish its roster and Green Bay suffered their 7th losing season in 8 years.
Exactly three months after the opener at Lambeau Field, The Packers would rematch with the Bears. However, Chicago exacted revenge by embarrassing the Packers 7–61 at Soldier Field, causing the Packers to be eliminated from the playoffs for the 8th straight season.