The Packers say they don’t want to make any rash decisions, or fiddle too much with their offensive line.
That’s convenient, because they really can’t.
Even after another leaky performance against the Giants Sunday night (five sacks, 10 points), the Packers aren’t expected to make any changes up front, primarily because they lack options.
“As of now no, I don’t see that will happen,” offensive coordinator Tom Clements said, via Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
They only carry seven offensive linemen at the moment, and the backups on the roster are undrafted rookies Don Barclay and Greg Van Roten. Seventh-round pick Andrew Datko is on the practice squad.
It appears unlikely 2011 first-rounder Derek Sherrod is going to be activated from physically unable to perform by today’s deadline, and there has been no indication they’ve reached out to former tackle Chad Clifton.
That leaves them to improve with what’s on hand, though injuries have stretched them thin. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga’s injury has made several players work out of position, and it showed Sunday. Left guard T.J. Lang was shaky replacing Bulaga, and Evan Dietrich-Smith equally so replacing Lang.
As a group, the Packers have allowed 37 sacks this year, second-most in the league behind only the Cardinals at 46.
Clements said they tried to mix up their protections, but they’ve also been hesitant to take too many receivers out of patterns to devote to keeping quarterback Aaron Rodgers upright. Playing the Vikings twice, the Bears and Lions down the stretch will force them to come up with something.
“Each plan that we have, we have a seven-man protection, a six-man protection and a five-man protection,” Clements said. “And we utilized all of those [Sunday] night. And we also utilized an eight-man protection at one point.
“So we just have to try to mix it up and see what we can do to shore it up a little bit.”
It’s the kind of problem that could be helped by running the ball well, or at least often enough. But they’ve shown little interest in that, which means it’s a good thing Rodgers is mobile.