The Green Bay Packers’ already muffled offensive-line situation became even cloudier on Friday.
In the only surprising development of the team’s final practice before Sunday’s game against Chicago, starting right guard Josh Sitton sat out of practice on Friday because of a hip injury and is listed as questionable to play against the Bears.
The injury flared up while Sitton was a full participant at practice on Thursday and while his morning evaluation didn’t come back well, Packers coach Mike McCarthy remained hopeful Sitton would be on the field Sunday.
Sitton’s injury further complicates the Packers’ offensive line situation as the team has been working to insert T.J. Lang back into the starting lineup after an ankle injury sidelined him in Sunday’s 27-20 win over Detroit.
With how rookie Don Barclay has been playing in relief at right tackle, there was some thought of moving Lang back to his natural spot at left guard and pushing Evan Dietrich-Smith back to being the team's top reserve.
If Sitton can't play, however, that would put Dietrich-Smith in at right guard with the make-shift line.
“It wouldn’t be a normal week if something didn’t pop up,” McCarthy said. “We’ve always repped those guys at combination positions. T.J. is ready to go at a couple different places. Obviously, Evan is ready for all three positions inside. We’ll see how Josh is (Saturday).”
Sitton has been one of the staples for a Packers’ offensive line that has already lost starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga for the season because of a hip injury and playing without 2011 first-round pick Derek Sherrod, who wasn’t able to make it back this season from a broken leg he suffered last December.
McCarthy wouldn’t commit to what their plans are for the starting offensive line against a Chicago defense that has ranked among one of the NFL’s most disruptive units this season, but he seemed to indicate he’s still planning for Sitton to be a part of it.
Whatever that means for Lang, Dietrich-Smith and Barclay, those questions likely will be answered after the team’s evaluations on Saturday.
“He went through the classroom part of it and then we sat him for practice,” McCarthy said. “I don’t have all of the information, but I’m hopeful he’ll be ready to go.”