Pregame warmup: Packers starting lineup has more changes than QB

Posted by Mike Spofford on November 17, 2013 – 2:25 pm

With kickoff roughly an hour away, here’s the latest on today’s Packers-Giants matchup:

More changes than just QB

As Scott Tolzien prepares to make his first start at QB for the Packers, Green Bay is also dealing with two other significant changes to its starting lineup.

RT Don Barclay is inactive today with a knee injury, meaning Marshall Newhouse will start in his place. Also, on defense, CB Sam Shields is inactive with a hamstring injury, and he’ll be replaced as a starter by CB Davon House.

Barclay missed practice all week, so his absence isn’t a total surprise. Shields only sat out Friday’s practice, and it sounded like it was a precautionary measure, but it appears his hamstring injury is more significant than that.

On the Giants side, the most important injury update is that DE Jason Pierre-Paul, who was questionable with a shoulder injury, is active and will play. He will pose a significant challenge to rookie LT David Bakhtiari, who has regularly held his own against some of the league’s top edge rushers.

NFC North implications

The Packers (5-4) will be in one of two situations by kickoff — either trying to move back into a tie for first place, or trying to stay just one game behind Detroit (6-3 entering today). At the time of this posting, the Lions are currently leading the Steelers in the second half. Should Detroit win that game, the Packers would have to win to avoid falling two games out of the division lead.

The Bears began the day with the same record as the Packers and are therefore in the same situation. They were trailing Baltimore when a severe weather delay hit Soldier Field.

Update: The Lions have lost to the Steelers, 37-27, so the Packers can move back into a tie for first place in the NFC North with a win today.

Back to the QB

All eyes will be on Tolzien as he starts his first pro game. He has played in plenty of big games before, having faced No. 1-ranked Ohio State and played in a Rose Bowl while with the Wisconsin Badgers.

He fared well last week coming off the bench when Seneca Wallace was injured. MetLife Stadium is large and loud, holding roughly 80,000 people, and the Giants are on a three-game winning streak after a dreadful 0-6 start, but they’re still in the thick of the NFC East race and the crowd and the attitude of the crowd is sure to reflect that. The Giants defense is also playing the best of the team’s units, so Tolzien can expect to deal with plenty of noise.

Weather update

It’s cloudy and dreary in East Rutherford, N.J., with temps around 60 and the forecast calling for rain later tonight. By the looks of it, there would seem to be a decent chance of rain before that.


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