It will certainly be no easy task storming into the Meadowlands and coming away with a win, despite the fact that the New York Giants have only won three games this season and quarterback Eli Manning leads the NFL in interceptions. If the Green Bay Packers do want to defeat the Giants, there is no question their offensive line must remain intact, which is a cause of concern at this point.
As of right now, center Evan Dietrich-Smith is doubtful and right tackle Don Barclay is questionable for Sunday’s contest. Barclay missed his second consecutive practice on Thursday, which means that questionable could very easily turn into doubtful come game time.
“He didn’t probably feel as good today as we had hoped,” McCarthy said, according to Packers.com. “We’ll see how he is tomorrow. I’m going to give him the full week to try to give it a go.”
Obviously, this is not good, especially with a backup quarterback preparing for his first career start. Not to mention, Dietrich-Smith and Barclay are key to Green Bay’s stellar running game. Without either of them in uniform, Eddie Lacy may not get the necessary holes to run through, which is a big reason why he is the fifth ranked running back in the league.
The concern isn’t so much the center position as right guard T.J. Lang can handle the duties. Why fans, and I’m assuming the coaching staff, have lumps in their throat is because Marshall Newhouse is on schedule to get the start at right tackle. No offense to Newhouse but he has been horrible when forced into action this season. He is definitely not the answer, but at this point, the Packers really don’t have much choice.
It will be a huge problem if Green Bay is unable to get a running game going. However, an even bigger issue will be if the lineman are unable to keep New York’s pass rush off quarterback Scott Tolzien. He’s going to have a hard enough time it is, but the Packers will really have no chance if he’s constantly running for his life.
Hopefully, Barclay will be able to suit up. If not, it is up to Newhouse and Lane Taylor to do their jobs.