Packers missing Bakhtiari, Bulaga for Falcons game
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers came to Atlanta hoping to have at worst one backup in their starting offensive line.
It turns out they'll have two.
Tackles Bryan Bulaga (ankle) and David Bakhtiari (hamstring) are inactive against the Atlanta Falcons.
The Packers have not announced their starters yet, but Kyle Murphy will fill in at one of the tackle spots. There's a strong possibility that backup center / guard Justin McCray will be in the starting lineup ahead of undrafted rookie Adam Pankey.
McCray is the team's next best offensive lineman and could play right tackle if they need.
Backup left tackle Jason Spriggs (hamstring) is also inactive. It was known early in the week that he would not play.
Coach Mike McCarthy is going to have to drastically alter the way he runs his offense with both of his starting tackles on the bench. The Falcons are extremely fast on defense and the potential for quarterback Aaron Rodgers to be under pressure all night is real.
One thing McCarthy could do is go double tight end most of the night and give the tackles help. It means he'd have to go with more of a power run game than a wide-open pass game.
Veteran tight end Martellus Bennett is 6-5, 275 pounds and could provide a lot of help for Pankey, who was signed from the practice squad on Tuesday. Pankey played both guard and tackle at West Virgina, but his best position has been guard.
It's unclear when McCarthy knew he wouldn't have both tackles but it's likely he had a good idea Saturday after practice. Bakhtiari and Bulaga were both questionable going into the game, but only Bulaga missed practice time.
Bakhtiari was limited in practice all three days, while Bulaga stayed home Wednesday and Thursday with the flu.
Here are the rest of the Packers' inactives:
- RB Devante Mays
- CB Lenzy Pipkins
- LB Ahmad Brooks
- OT David Bakhtiari
- OT Bryan Bulaga
- OT Jason Spriggs
- DT Montravius Adams