Don Barclay Injury Creates Depth Issue

barclay

The depth of the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line took a big hit with the loss of Don Barclay this week to a torn ACL.

Head coach Mike McCarthy has said before that he believes that this can be the best offensive line during his tenure in Green Bay and you can see why.

David Bakhtiari should improve following a promising rookie season and adding more muscle. Bryan Bulaga looked fully recovered from his torn ACL during the preseason opener in Tennessee last night. J.C. Tretter had a nice debut last night as well, as he got to the second level nicely to spring a couple of long runs. Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang are one of the top guard combos in the NFL.

If the starting five stayed healthy for all 16 games the Packers would have no problems. However, that is a rarity in the NFL, and it has not happened in Green Bay since 2003. The loss of Barclay weakens Green Bay’s offensive line depth, especially inside.

Barclay was far from great during his tenure as Green Bay’s starting right tackle last season. He showed that he is probably better off being a top backup than a starter. However, if you watch a lot of  the NFL preseason you would see that a ton of teams have brutal second team offensive lines. At least the Packers knew their offense would still be able to function with Barclay as a starter.

Their depth last season at guard was also a huge issue, but they got away with it since neither Sitton nor Lang missed a game. They better hope they are that lucky again with Lane Taylor currently being their top backup at guard. Perhaps they think rookie center Corey Linsley can slide over to guard if necessary. He has had a solid camp thus far.

Derek Sherrod is now the top tackle at both left and right tackle. Sherrod played both spots in Tennessee last night and his name was not called out a lot, which is a good thing for a offensive lineman. The Packers clearly think he has talent since they drafted him with their first round pick in 2011. That awful broken leg injury never gave him a chance to prove his worth, but if he continues to build on what he has showed so far in camp he should be fine as a backup.

The same cannot be said for their situation at backup guard right now. The Packers’ depth is solid in most positions, but guard is a place they should be looking for an upgrade at just in case something happens.

 

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Matt Bove is a writer at PackersTalk.com. PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on twitter at @RayRobert9.

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  • Morgan Mundane

    It was last year going through statistics on Fox that I realized we had for guys on the O line who were all close to 6’1 and 275 ish. Got me to think, is that the magic of the Packers mind set, they only pick people who fit a particular mold.
    Other teams have 6’5 320 pound O linemen and were getting the runt of the litter.
    My only conclusion is, Ted T and the Packer braintrust are doing their damdest to avoid paying first round Defensive Ends and O linemen the big bucks.

    Per Vic Ketchum, Defensive Ends are in the low first rounds can break the banks of teams so some teams are using Midlle Linebackers like Mathews to save the bucks. Thus, according to Vic, the 3 -4 defense is designed more to save money (no need for 2 defensive ends) then a new creative way to play football.

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