Packers lose three key players to injury

Michael Cohen
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Green Bay Packers linebacker Jake Ryan (47) is taken off the field during the game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Green Bay Packers were blown away by the Tennessee Titans, and the 47-25 loss really did add insult to injury.

The Packers lost three starters due to injury in Sunday's game, and none of them returned to the field: left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee); right guard T.J. Lang (ankle) and inside linebacker Jake Ryan (ankle).

Ryan was injured on special teams before the defense even took the field. He lined up as a blocker for punter Jacob Schum fewer than 90 seconds into the game. Ryan held up well against his man, but another rusher fell and crashed into Ryan's legs, bending him back.

He hobbled off the field with the help of a trainer and was later carted to the locker room. Without him, Joe Thomas and Blake Martinez were the only healthy inside linebackers on the roster. They paired together for the duration of the game.

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Lang went down on the first play of the Packers' second possession. Running back/wide receiver Ty Montgomery took a handoff up the middle and rolled up on the back of Lang's legs with safety Daimion Stafford.

Lang climbed slowly to his feet and limped off the field. He returned to the sideline in the second half on crutches and with a boot on his injured left ankle.

"Couldn't tell you," coach Mike McCarthy said when asked about Lang's status after the game. "I was told it didn't look good but I really don't have a feel."

Backup guard Don Barclay took over for Lang and played the remainder of the game. He was involved in one sack and called for one false start penalty but held up much better than his relief appearances at tackle last season.

"I felt bad for T.J. getting rolled up on," Barclay said. "But I was glad more than anything to get into the game and get a flow, get that feel at the beginning of the game instead of just coming in cold. But that’s my role, I’ve got to be ready for whatever comes my way. It felt good to be out there with these guys. We played our hearts out.

"During practice I get a lot of reps, and Coach (James) Campen does a great job of giving me reps across the board, preparing myself for any situation that occurs. I’ve just got to take it upon myself to mentally and physically prepare for that."

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The Packers lost a second lineman late in the third quarter when Bakhtiari went down. He exited with a knee injury and did not return despite attempts to loosen up along the sideline.

Rookie Jason Spriggs, a second-round pick from Indiana, took over for Bakhtiari. He was beaten twice for sacks by outside linebacker Brian Orakpo.

After the game, McCarthy did not have injury updates on Bakhtiari or Ryan.

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