If you thought the last two weeks represented the worst-case scenario for the Green Bay Packers’ offensive tackles, think again.
On Monday, the Packers released their first injury report for week four, with the team playing the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football this week. That report listed the team’s top three tackles in various states of practice ability. Left tackle David Bakhtiari was listed as limited, while right tackle Bryan Bulaga and swing backup Kyle Murphy were designated as non-participants (these were estimates, as the Packers did not actually hold a Monday practice).
If those three players would all be unable to play, that would leave just two players with any experience playing tackle at any level on the roster: Justin McCray, who started at right tackle against the Falcons in week two, and rookie Adam Pankey, who played both guard and tackle in the preseason.
With depth continuing to be a major concern, the Packers are apparently looking to players on other teams to bolster that line, and they reportedly found someone to serve as a backup to those two players. According to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, the Packers are going to sign tackle Ulrick John, who had been on the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad.
John, listed at 6’5” and 307 pounds, is designated as a fourth-year player, but maintained practice squad eligibility due to having only five games of NFL experience. In addition, this is the third straight year that he has started the season on the practice squad only to be signed away by another team midseason.
John was a seventh-round draft pick of the Colts in 2014 and spent his rookie year on the active roster, landing on the gameday inactive list each week. He then started 2015 on the Colts’ practice squad before the Dolphins signed him away late in the season. He then began 2016 on Miami’s practice squad but was signed by the Cardinals. in October. Now he goes through that dance once more, landing in Green Bay.
Last season, John started three games for the Cardinals at right tackle late in the season, but he suffered a shoulder injury that landed him on injured reserve in December.
No corresponding roster move has yet been announced, so stay tuned for news from the transaction wire later today.