GREEN BAY — Don Barclay’s start at right tackle tonight in place of Bryan Bulaga will be Barclay’s first start since the 2013 NFC Wild Card playoff game against San Francisco.
That was the 21st start for Barclay over two seasons (2012-13) in Bulaga’s place, but then Barclay missed all of last year with a torn ACL from training camp. Getting back into game action in the preseason for the first time since 2013, Barclay got off to a slow start, but this week his teammates expressed confidence in him. To read what they had to say, click here.
As for Bulaga, there’s been no official announcement on the severity of his injury, but several media reports indicate it is not a season-ending injury. With Bulaga inactive, the Packers have three backup offensive line active for tonight’s game — JC Tretter, Josh Walker and Lane Taylor.
First start inside?: Should Nate Palmer get the start at inside linebacker in place of Sam Barrington, as expected, it’ll be Palmer’s first start at that position, but not the first start of his career. As a rookie back in 2013, Palmer started two games at outside linebacker before making the switch inside in 2014, when he ended up missing the season due to a knee injury.
Two defenders back: Two defensive regulars the Packers were missing last week are back in the lineup and ready to go. S Morgan Burnett missed Week 1 with a calf injury while DE Datone Jones was suspended.
Burnett’s presence could be especially key against the run, where the defense appeared to miss his in-the-box presence against the Bears, as Matt Forte rushed for 141 yards. Jones, plagued by injuries his first two seasons in the league, finished strong last year in the final month with a handful of impact plays and will look to pick up where he left off.
Rematch history: Should the Packers beat the Seahawks, they’ll become the first NFC team since 2005 to win a rematch of the previous year’s NFC title game as the loser of the conference championship. For more on the recent rematch history, check out this week’s “One Last Look” feature.
What’s different?: There’s different personnel on both sides since last January’s NFC title game, but the differences don’t end there. Two key changes should work in the Packers’ favor this time. Find out what they are by clicking here.
In the NFC North: It’s early of course, but that makes the division standings pretty simple at this point. Minnesota beat Detroit on Sunday to improve to 1-1 and drop the Lions to 0-2. Chicago also fell to 0-2 with a loss to Arizona. So, if the Packers win, they’ll be 2-0 and in first place all alone, two games up on two of their rivals. With a loss, the Packers and Vikings would be tied for first.
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