Since guard T.J. Lang's departure earlier in March, the Green Bay Packers have a significant hole in their offensive line. After several weeks of silence on the subject, head coach Mike McCarthy finally discussed the matter Tuesday.
Speaking to the Green Bay Press-Gazette's Ryan Wood, the Packers' headman said he doesn't want to move starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga inside to guard, a possible solution many -- this site included -- have suggested for filling the void left by Lang. Bulaga just completed one of his best seasons and conservatively ranks as one of the best right tackles in the game, making a shift to guard seem suboptimal. Still, while McCarthy clearly doesn't care to move Bulaga, his words don't rule out the possibility either.
McCarthy offered more definitive statements for second-year man Jason Spriggs, Green Bay's second-round pick from a year ago. Spriggs played guard in spots during his rookie campaign, but largely looked out of place. McCarthy labeled Spriggs a tackle during his conversation with Wood, suggesting that the team doesn't view him as a potential successor to Lang at guard.
The Packers do have other contenders to replace Lang on the roster. Don Barclay, who the team re-signed earlier this offseason, started at guard last season and will likely compete for the job during training camp. 2016 sixth-round pick Kyle Murphy could factor into that discussion as well, as the former Stanford Cardinal began practicing at guard late last season. Former undrafted free agent Lucas Patrick spent all of 2016 on the practice squad and could receive a look as well.
Green Bay could also draft another offensive lineman to battle for the job. Given that starters Corey Linsley and Lane Taylor both enter the final year of their respective contracts and the Packers have selected an offensive lineman in all but one of their drafts under general manager Ted Thompson, that seems a high probability.
In any event, the Packers should have plenty of competition for Lang's old spot when training camp begins at the end of July.