Packers Don Barclay.
GREEN BAY —
Undrafted rookie free agent Don Barclay may not be Green Bay's
answer at right tackle, but the Packers' coaching staff is at least
entertaining that possibility.
23-year-old Barclay took over at the position after veteran T.J.
Lang went down with a left ankle injury with 6:42 left in the first
half of Sunday's 23-14 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
McCarthy said Barclay did well.
thought he did a nice job — pretty much what I thought last night
when I left here," McCarthy said Monday during a news
conference at Lambeau Field. "(When) he went into the game, we
tried to protect him a little bit there in the 2-minute drive. Then
at halftime, we made some protection adjustments.
thought in the run game, he was physical. That's a trait that we
really like in Don. I thought the pass protection, a lot of his
(mistakes) were technical. I thought he did a solid job. When a
rookie comes in for his first time in game action and you're able to
keep playing throughout your game plan, I think that's a big credit
Packers must decide if Barclay played well enough to merit starting
Sunday night at home against Detroit.
his first real playing time. He's been on some special teams a
little bit at times throughout the year, but it was his first time
playing a lot on the line," offensive coordinator Tom Clements
said of Barclay. "He went in and did a good job. He wasn't
perfect, wasn't expected to be perfect, but he's a battler and he
the roster for a reason. He earned his way on the roster and we
always say when someone has a chance to play, they have to step in
and do the job. He did that."
Lang had moved
to right tackle from his customary left guard spot on Nov. 4, when
starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga, the team's 2010 first-round
draft pick, suffered a dislocated hip that landed him on
season-ending injured reserve.
If Lang is
able to play Sunday night, he could return to his left guard spot
and Barclay could get the nod at right tackle. Evan Dietrich-Smith,
who has been starting at left guard since Lang's move, would then
return to being the first lineman off the bench. Or, Lang could
remain at right tackle, Dietrich-Smith could stay at left guard and
Barclay could return to the bench.
If Lang can't
play, the Packers' decision would be made for them. Barclay would
make his first NFL start and Dietrich-Smith would remain at left
sprained ankle was one of two injuries to starters the banged-up
Packers suffered against the Vikings, as wide receiver Jordy Nelson
left after the second offensive series with a strained hamstring.
Coach Mike McCarthy said Monday that the injuries "are not of
serious nature" but said Nelson would be "pressed hard to
play this week."
As for Lang,
McCarthy said, "I feel probably a little bit better about T.J.
than I do about Jordy," but the coach admitted he didn't know
if Lang would be ready to play against the Lions, so Barclay will
get snaps at right tackle when the players return to practice on
The only other
offensive lineman on the 53-man roster as of Monday night was Greg
Van Roten, another undrafted rookie free agent. The Packers have two
linemen on their practice squad: seventh-round pick Andrew Datko, a
rookie tackle, and Joe Gibbs, a first-year guard.
first couple of plays was (I) kind of getting used to it. And then
the second half I think I settled in and I got comfortable with
it," said Barclay, who'd been a three-year starter at left
tackle at West Virginia and made the team coming out of training
camp. "The first play was maybe a little tunnel vision. I was
just out there. It happens to everyone. But after that I got
know, a couple plays probably weren't as pretty. But every play I
was out there fighting my butt off and that's what it's all
issue the Packers must consider is how playing an undrafted rookie
at right tackle might prevent them from doing what they prefer to do
offensively. The coaches schemed to give Barclay help with a tight
end or a running back on most pass plays against the Vikings, and
both McCarthy and Clements acknowledged that Barclay was appreciably
better as a run blocker than pass protector.
protection is probably a little harder than run blocking, especially
at this level," Clements said. "But he did a good
like to use spread formations with quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the
shotgun in an empty backfield, so keeping an extra tight end or
fullback John Kuhn on the field to help with protection takes that
away. At the same time, protecting Rodgers, who'd been sacked an
NFL-high 37 times entering Sunday's game but was sacked only twice
by the Vikings, is the first priority.
you can keep the quarterback upright and completing passes, I
wouldn't say that's counterproductive," Clements said. "If
we had our druthers, we'd tell (opposing defensive linemen) not to
rush at all and just (let us) stand back there and throw it."
not an option, the Packers may have to sacrifice for protection,
regardless of who's playing right tackle.
(limit the offense)," Clements admitted. "But if things we
want to do, we're having trouble executing for one reason or
another, it doesn't make sense to try to do them."
Pro32 comments about Packers
GREEN BAY PACKERS (7)
Chris Berman (ESPN, 8) — Important division win.
Clifton Brown (Sporting News, 11) — Best football could be ahead if
they get healthier in December.
Cris Collinsworth (NBC Sports, 8)
Rich Gannon (CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio, 5) — Need to get the
horses back on defense and they have to protect Rodgers better
(sacked 39 times already).
Bob Glauber (Newsday, 9) — Nice bounce-back from Green Bay after a
rare clunker against the Giants the week before. Even so, that run
defense is still a huge issue.
Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News, 7) — Aaron Rodgers has been
sacked more than any NFL quarterback this season — 39 times.
Clark Judge (CBSSports.com, 7) — Considering their history vs.
Chicago, the Packers should win their division. Of course, they
should do a better job of protecting their quarterback, too.
Ira Kaufman (Tampa Tribune, 6) — Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford
might combine for 900 yards passing at Lambeau.
Pat Kirwan (SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com, 8) — Aaron Rodgers
seems like he's running for his life and if the line doesn't protect
him he may not last the whole season.
John Lynch (Fox Sports, 6) — Health may be the only thing holding
the Pack back. Good news: Greg Jennings is back and Charles Woodson
and Clay Matthews appear close to coming back. Bad news: WR Jordy
Nelson is now out with a hamstring injury.
Alex Marvez (Foxsports.com, 9) — Minnesota's Adrian Peterson
deserved the spotlight for a 210-yard effort, but let's not forget
Green Bay rushed for 152 yards in last Sunday's 23-14 win.
Dan Pompei (Chicago Tribune, 7) — Greg Jennings back; Jordy Nelson
out. Been that kind of year in Green Bay.