GLENDALE, Ariz. — While Packers’ left tackle David Bakhtiari will miss the first start in his three-year career today in Arizona, Don Barclay will make the first start of his four-year career at left tackle.
Since arriving as a fourth-round draft pick in 2013, Bakhtiari has started every game of his career, 49 in all, including playoffs. An ankle injury from last week’s game in Oakland will keep him on the sidelines today.
Barclay, an undrafted free agent who made the team in 2012, has started 25 career games, but all have been at right tackle. He has played some left tackle in the preseason and regular season in the past, but he has never started a game there. After missing all of 2014 due to a knee injury, Barclay will be making his sixth start of 2015, with the previous five all coming at right tackle in place of Bryan Bulaga.
Playoff picture: Whether or not tonight’s Giants-Vikings game has any bearing on the Packers’ playoff prospects will depend on the Packers-Cardinals result.
If the Packers win, the Vikings will need to win to stay alive in the NFC North race and force a division-title-deciding game next week at Lambeau Field. If the Packers lose, the Giants-Vikings game means nothing as far as the Packers are concerned.
Four different seeds in the NFC playoff field are in play for the Packers heading into today’s game. For a rundown on all the possibilities, check out this week’s “Path to the Playoffs.”
Long time: This is the Packers’ first trip to Arizona since the 2009 NFC Wild Card game, a 51-45 overtime loss that still ranks as the highest scoring playoff game in NFL history. It was QB Aaron Rodgers’ first postseason game.
Strangely enough, that trip was the third for the Packers in the 2009 season, having visited in the preseason and in Week 17, one week before the playoff game.
Since those three visits in one year, though, the Packers haven’t been back, until today. Should the Packers lose today, which would give the Cardinals a first-round playoff bye, it’s possible the Packers could be coming back here again if they win in the wild-card round in two weeks.
TV map: Here is the FOX TV map for the late-afternoon broadcast window, courtesy of 506sports.com.
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