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Ouch on the O-line

by Mark Daniels

The beat writers and sports guys like me who cover the Packers every day are always chatting between periods of practice and just yesterday at camp, one topic of conversation was the big difference in the number on injured players from last year. It seemed at times there were more players in sweats than pads on Ray Nitschke Field in the summer of 2014. Not so this year where only a couple of guys have yet to hit the field, Jerel Worthy and Letroy Guion.

Maybe we spoke too soon because the team suffered it's second season ending ACL injury in the past five days. During a team blitz drill, offensive tackle Don Barclay got jammed up by Adrian Hubbard on a bull rush. Mike McCarthy was standing right behind the play and said after practice Barclay found himself in a compromised position. The knee gave way and he went down. After several minutes, he was carted off the field. McCarthy confirmed a knee injury but Wes Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press Gazette reported late this afternoon that it was indeed an ACL tear and Barclay is likely lost for the year. He stepped into the right tackle spot a year ago, almost to the day, when Byran Bulaga blew out his knee in the 2014 Family Night scrimmage. In the past couple of seasons, Barclay has played almost every position on the line. He is without question the number one backup across the board and aside from T.J. Lang, may be the most versatile lineman on the roster. It's a big loss.

Hopefully, the front five can stay intact but if not, the depth is suddenly untested. There's Lane Taylor inside, he made the team as perhaps the last of the linemen a year ago. At swing tackle, former number one pick Derek Sherrod must step up. A couple years removed from his gruesome broken leg, Sherrod looks to be regaining NFL form. That will have to be accelerated through the end of August. McCarthy seems confident Sherrod can handle both left and right tackle if needed.

Spoke with Jared Abbrederis today, four days after he tore his ACL. The injury happened at practice Thursday and the former Wisconsin Badger confirmed the tear just before the Family Night workout. He's still wearing just a rubber sleeve until the surgery is scheduled either later this week or next. Abbrederis is even on the practice field, playing catch and watching his receiver mates run plays. Jared is frustrated his rookie season never got started but will now focus on the rehabilitation process.

Some more medical news, Burnett sat out today after suffering an oblique strain Monday night. It's not expected to keep him down long. Tight Colt Lyerla suffered a leg injury on Family Night and McCarthy said after practice Monday it may be weeks before he's able to come back. Michael Hill (concussion) and Tanner Miller are still out.