The Green Bay Packers announced on Thursday that the team had placed left tackle David Bakthari on the injured reserve for his knee injury, which cost him Week 2 and Week 3 of the regular season already. In those games, Bakhtiari was replaced by Rasheed Walker, who is the presumed starter at left tackle for at least the next four games.
The corresponding roster move with Bakhtiari’s placement on IR was the signing of linebacker Kristian Welch from the practice squad. Welch previously played 891 special teams snaps to just 44 defensive snaps with the Baltimore Ravens over the past three seasons.
The Packers also called up two cornerbacks from the practice squad, Corey Ballentine and Kiondre Thomas, for gameday elevations. That move gives us a little bit of a hint at which players may or may not be active tonight.
The need for two cornerbacks is a bad sign for Jaire Alexander (back) and Carrington Valentine (biceps) at the position. If neither Alexander nor Valentine can go, Ballentine will make the start at outside cornerback opposite of Rasul Douglas.
The fact that the team didn’t feel the need to bring up running back Patrick Taylor from the practice squad, though, is a sign that running back Aaron Jones (hamstring) should be good to go. Without Jones, who was listed as questionable by the team on Wednesday, Green Bay would only have two rostered running backs available for this game.
The lack of a call-up on the offensive line is also worth noting here, too. Right tackle Zach Tom has been listed as questionable with a knee injury and with Bakhtiari on IR and Elgton Jenkins (knee) already ruled out, the Packers would only have seven healthy offensive linemen going into this game — should Tom miss action. If Green Bay was worried about Tom’s participation tonight, they probably would have called up tackle Kadeem Telfort for some extra insurance at the position.
A short week on top of the Packers’ injury problems means that each one of their moves is a hint at what the squad will look like later tonight. Keep an eye out for the inactive list, which should drop 90 minutes before kickoff, for players to be officially ruled out or in.