The Green Bay Packers have been banged up on both sides of the football this season, and recent weeks have seen injuries to a few starters at critical positions across the lineup.
On offense, left tackle David Bakhtiari was hurt two games ago in Oakland and was ruled out for the team's week 16 game in Arizona. Early on during that game, right tackle Bryan Bulaga was injured and left the game, forcing the team to play a pair of backups, Don Barclay and Josh Walker, at the two tackle positions.
On the defensive side, Sam Shields' concussion suffered against the Cowboys three games ago has kept him out of the lineup since then. Then in Arizona, nose tackle B.J. Raji was concussed as well and left the contest.
Thankfully, the Packers are expecting to get a few of those players back at practice on Wednesday. Mike McCarthy said in his morning press conference today that Bakhtiari and Shields are expected to "do some work today at practice", a sign that they will have a better chance to play in Sunday's NFC North showdown against the Minnesota Vikings than they did last Sunday.
Shields' absence has pushed rookie cornerback Quinten Rollins into a more prominent role as his replacement. Though Rollins has performed relatively well, he has understandably not been playing to Shields' lofty standards.
By contrast, Bakhtiari's replacement, Barclay, struggled mightily against Dwight Freeney and the Cardinals pass rush last Sunday. Pro Football Focus credited him with four sacks and four hurries allowed, and according to their stats he has given up the second-most sacks of any offensive lineman this season, despite starting just five games. Getting Bakhtiari back would be a major shot in the arm for a banged-up line.
McCarthy also suggested that Eddie Lacy's rib injury, which has shown up on the report the past few weeks, is "getting better" and implied that Lacy will not be limited on Sunday.
Stay tuned for the full injury report later today.