Don Barclay and Evan Dietrich-Smith are the only backup offensive linemen on the roster
GM Ted Thompson’s decision to keep only seven offensive linemen is highly unusual, but the number itself really isn’t a big deal. Remember, the Packers dressed only seven offensive linemen throughout last season. So the problem isn’t keeping only two backups. The problem is who the two backups are.
As of now, Evan Dietrich-Smith and rookie Don Barclay are the sixth and seventh offensive linemen on the 53-man roster. That essentially means starting left guard T.J. Lang is the No. 3 tackle and would have to switch positions should either Marshall Newhouse or Bryan Bulaga go down. What that does is weaken the line at two positions. And there’s your problem. It’s one thing to have to move your starting guard to tackle in an emergency during the season; it’s a whole other thing to begin a season with that plan.
It would be irresponsible of Ted Thompson not to add a competent tackle in the next few days. In fact, he should’ve done it weeks ago. It’s been obvious for quite some time that Derek Sherrod wasn’t going to be ready for the start of the season and that Reggie Wells didn’t have the physical ability to function outside.