GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) A sore knee sidelined left tackle David Bakhtiari at Packers training camp Monday and it was unclear if the starting offensive lineman will play in this weekend’s preseason game at Pittsburgh.
Coach Mike McCarthy did not offer details on the injury to the third-year tackle. Asked if he was concerned about Bakhtiari, McCarthy replied, ”Not today, no.”
”He’s going to be on a treatment program for at least the next couple days,” he said. ”That’s straight out of the doctor’s mouth.”
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Veteran Bryan Bulaga said that with ample practice time, he could make the switch from right to left tackle if needed.
”I don’t know what Dave’s situation for this week is,” Bulaga said. ”All I’ve been told is that I’m playing right tackle this week.”
The Packers’ backup plan is pertinent because Bakhtiari protects the blind side of NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers. Bakhtiari struggled in the preseason opener at New England on Thursday night, when he allowed two sacks. He has made 35 consecutive starts since taking over for Bulaga as a rookie fourth-round pick in 2013.
With Bakhtiari not practicing, fourth-year backup Don Barclay worked at left tackle with the No. 1 offense. Barclay is coming off a torn ACL in his right knee suffered early in camp last year and has been working his way back into form.
McCarthy said the Packers would likely move Bulaga to left tackle if Bakhtiari’s injury were to worsen. Barclay could then play right tackle in Bulaga’s place.
”You want to continue to create opportunities for players to increase their value,” McCarthy said. ”You do that by giving guys opportunities. That’s no different for Donnie Barclay. I know Bryan Bulaga can play left tackle. That’s something that we practice all the time. This is an opportunity for players to increase their value.”
Bulaga, who played left tackle in high school and in college at the University of Iowa, worked extensively at the position during the 2013 offseason but said he doesn’t work there much these days. If Bakhtiari were to go down during the season, Bulaga said an in-game adjustment would be difficult but he’d be OK with a week of practice.
”I think anyone would need some time at it. I’d say no matter which way you’re switching, if you’re going left-to-right at guard or tackle, I think you need a little time adjusting,” Bulaga said. ”Again, I just play where they tell me to play.”
Notes: The Packers released rookie receiver Adrian Coxson, who was signed in May as a non-drafted free agent.