Bay Packers guard T.J. Lang during NFL football training camp,
Thursday, July 28, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis.
GREEN BAYŚ Right
guard T.J. Lang is optimistic a starting offensive line that hasn't
been on the field together in seven months can jell in time for the
start of the Green Bay Packers' season.
"We haven't all
been out there, but I don't think there's any concern that we're going
to lose any chemistry," Lang said Tuesday.
"Us five, we've
played a lot of football together, and we trust each other, we know
what we're doing."
The Packers have had
their preferred starting five since 2014, but this could be their last
Contracts for three
starters are up after this season, and the team has some options in
reserve after taking two linemen in this year's draft.
After missing the
first week of training camp and then practicing in limited fashion
last week, Lang felt a sense of urgency to be more active when the
team returned to the practice field Tuesday night following the
canceled Hall of Fame game two days earlier.
The eighth-year pro,
who spent the entire offseason recovering from surgery for a torn
labrum, looked forward to participating in team drills this week and
playing in the Packers' first preseason game Friday against the
feels healthy, I feel healthy, and I'm just ready to go back in there
and settle back in at my spot," Lang said. "I'm a
competitive guy, it's hard standing out there watching somebody else
take your reps every single day."
Lang, left tackle
David Bakhtiari and Pro Bowl left guard Josh Sitton are entering the
final year of their contracts, barring an extension from the team.
Of the starting five
linemen, only Sitton played every game last season, which was marred
by a slew of injuries.
The Packers are still
waiting to have all five together again for the first time since the
playoff loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Jan. 16.
Corey Linsley remains on the physically unable to perform list because
of a hamstring injury. Veteran right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who has
dealt with knee injuries the past few years, also has missed some
practice time early in camp, including Tuesday.
Coach Mike McCarthy
and quarterback Aaron Rodgers aren't overly concerned about the shaky
health of the offensive line.
Fourth-year pro JC
Tretter, who has been filling in for Linsley with the starting group,
didn't practice Tuesday because of illness.
Rodgers said the
impact on continuity with the start of the season still a month away
is very minimal.
"Just want those
guys healthy for Week 1," Rodgers said.
NOTES: Three of the
team's remaining five players on the PUP list returned to practice
Tuesday: WR Ty Montgomery, TE Jared Cook and LB Sam Barrington.
Veteran WR Jordy Nelson (knee) remains out, along with Linsley. ... RB
Eddie Lacy practiced after missing time last week with an ankle
injury. Still out are QB Brett Hundley (ankle) and LB Jake Ryan
(hamstring). ... The Packers signed long snapper Jesse Schmitt, an
undrafted rookie from Purdue, and released LB Manoa Pikula. McCarthy
said Schmitt was added to provide competition for incumbent long
snapper Rick Lovato, a first-year pro. ... Former NFL coach Tom
Coughlin visited the Packers on Tuesday and stayed for practice.
Coughlin, 69, was recently hired as the league's senior adviser to
football operations. Coughlin had his 12-year tenure end as New York
Giants coach after last season. "It's strange, it's strange, but
that's the way it is," Coughlin said of his new role, as he
exited the practice field Tuesday night.