Pregame warmup: Three new starters on O-line for Packers

Posted by Mike Spofford on August 29, 2015 – 5:52 pm

GREEN BAY — As they had all week in practice, the Packers will have three new starters on the offensive line for tonight’s preseason game vs. Philadelphia at Lambeau Field.

LT David Bakhtiari (knee), LG Josh Sitton (ankle) and RG T.J. Lang (concussion) are out for tonight’s game after not practicing all week. Expected to start in their place are Don Barclay at LT, Lane Taylor at LG and Josh Walker at RG.

Walker is trying to make an NFL roster for the first time. An undrafted rookie a year ago with the Colts, the Middle Tennessee State lineman was released at the final roster cutdown and signed by the Packers to their practice squad early in the regular season. He remained there all season and now appears on the verge of locking down a spot on the final 53-man roster.

With three starting offensive linemen out, it’s uncertain whether starting QB Aaron Rodgers will play. He’s not officially listed as a scratch for the game, but there’s no guarantee he’ll take a snap. No. 2 QB Scott Tolzien (concussion) has not practiced all week, so it could be a big night for reserve QBs Brett Hundley and Matt Blanchard.

For more on the young QBs, check out this feature story.

Time to shine: In the aftermath of WR Jordy Nelson’s season-ending injury, the Packers are going to take a long look at young receivers Ty Montgomery, Jeff Janis and Myles White in the final two preseason games. So far in the preseason, Janis has been the most productive of the three, but he’s had his ups and downs. Same for White. Montgomery was taking the snaps with the No. 1 offense in practice this past week, so he’ll be getting the first crack at locking down the No. 3 receiver job.

With the opener in Chicago just two weeks away now, for the young receivers, it’s a classic case of a long way to go and a short time to get there. They’ll be watched closely, and the game film is sure to be scrutinized, too. Rodgers made it pretty clear this week what he wants and needs to see to have more trust in the younger targets.

Job undecided; communication test: The Packers tried three kickoff returners last week in Pittsburgh with mixed results. The rotation could continue through the last two preseason games as the special teams looks to upgrade its worst unit from a season ago.

Also, the top priority for Green Bay’s defense tonight is to be able to communicate calls and signals smoothly and efficiently against Philadelphia’s high-tempo offense.

For more on both of those storylines, click here.

Last week of training camp: The Packers have one short week of training camp left, concluding with the final preseason game on Thursday vs. New Orleans at Lambeau Field.

The first round of roster cuts is due on Tuesday afternoon, with the roster needing to be trimmed to a maximum of 75 players. Tuesday is also the last open practice for fans to watch this season. It’s slated for 12:15 p.m. at Ray Nitschke Field.


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