The Green Bay Packers are primed to have their best offensive line in years as they head into training camp with previously injured linemen returning healthy.
The Green Bay Packers will look to stay healthy and maintain continuity on their offensive line. Bryan Bulaga will return from a torn ACL that forced him to miss the 2013 season, and he will resume his playing time at right tackle.
Don Barclay started at right tackle, and he struggled in run blocking. He offers starting experience though since he also had to fill in for Bulaga during the 2012 season when he went down with a season-ending hip injury. Bulaga is entering a contract year, so he will look to prove that he is a long-term solution.
Bulaga was initially slated to start at left tackle in 2013, but David Bakhtiari showed great promise and made strides as a rookie. The second-year tackle will remain Rodgers’ blind-side protector.
The Packers are set at both guard positions with Josh Sitton manning the left and T.J. Lang continuing to hold down the right. Sitton is one of the elite guards in the NFL and rarely gets injured, as he has proven by making all 16 starts in four of his last five seasons. Lang played consistently last season and benefits from playing across from Sitton.
Center is a question mark though since quarterback Aaron Rodgers will have to play with his fourth center in the last four seasons. J.C. Tretter and Corey Linsley are competing for the starting job. Tretter has no previous experience at center, and he missed all of last season with a broken ankle. He is the favorite to win the job though since Linsley is a rookie, but the fifth-round pick was an All-Big Ten player at Ohio State.
Barclay and Sherrod provide depth and experience at the tackle positions. Sherrod has been hampered by injuries since the end of his rookie season, but he is fully healthy now and will back up Bakhtiari. Barclay is ready to step in at right tackle if Bulaga goes down again, and he is capable of playing the guard positions as well.
Lane Taylor and Garth Gerhart are also candidates to make the roster, but Gerhart will have extreme difficulty making the team since there are already two other centers. Taylor may have a decent shot unless all the tackles manage to stay healthy.
The Packers are set to have their best offensive line in years, but Tretter or Linsley will have to prove that they can be counted on to snap the ball to Rodgers on a regular basis.