GREEN BAY – This may be the week that Green Bay Packers guard Lane Taylor returns to his normal place of employment.
Then again, he has heard that before.
“It’s been good,” Taylor said of having to play left tackle. “But I’ll be ready to kick back into guard anytime they’re ready. If I have to play tackle again, I’ll play tackle again.”
For the second consecutive week, starting left tackle David Bakhtiari took turns in the individual drills at the start of practice. But as last week showed, it doesn’t mean he’s going to play.
Bakhtiari was held out for a fourth consecutive game because of a hamstring pull and there’s no guarantee he won’t miss a fifth straight Sunday in Minneapolis. The Packers don’t want Bakhtiari to have a setback, and so they have taken no chances.
This Sunday will mark the five-week mark in Bakhtiari’s recovery. After Sunday, the Packers play at home against New Orleans and then have a bye, so it’s not inconceivable they could rest him through the bye.
But coach Mike McCarthy has said players will play if the medical staff will clear them, and if Bakhtiari is out of the woods with the injury, he’ll start against the Vikings. Just in case, Taylor is practicing at both positions so he can be ready for whatever happens.
“We just come back (after a game), evaluate, and see how Dave is doing,” Taylor said. “(Last week) it was still in a gray area whether he’s going to go or not. I took some snaps (at guard), but the reps I needed were going to be at tackle, not guard.
“(Today) I was bouncing back and forth a little bit.”
Taylor, who had never played tackle before, has played well enough for the Packers to win the past three games without Bakhtiari. Against Dallas, he gave up his first sack on a screen pass when he didn’t block end Tyrone Crawford long enough. He also has given up two pressures since replacing injured backup left tackle Kyle Murphy against Chicago.
This week, the challenge will be great. The Vikings have two outstanding pass-rushing ends in Everson Griffin and Danielle Hunter, who thrive off a linemen’s inability to hear the snap count in deafening U.S. Bank Stadium.
Griffin has six sacks and Hunter two.