Packers to play starters through first half, hope to gel offensive line
Fans will be getting a longer look at the starters for the Green Bay Packers Friday night against Denver.
"We'll go through the first half, probably start the third quarter. Some guys won't come out at halftime. A couple of guys with the injury situations are coming back for the first time, I'll evaluate them at halftime," Packers' Head Coach Mike McCarthy told the press Wednesday.
It may also give time for the team to figure out the offensive line, which has been unsettled since the start of camp.
"You'd like to get set, but we have some injuries there, we have some rotations we're looking at. But I'm hopeful we'll have a decision after this game," McCarthy said.
Veteran tackle Mark Tauscher said it would be nice to develop some chemistry on the line, but says the team has to figure out who is best for what spot first.
"We're trying to put the five best guys on the field at one time. You know everyone they put in there is a good player, but the chemistry-factor, obviously the more you play with somebody the better," Tauscher said.
The Wisconsin-native said the offensive line would like to put some good drives together against Denver.
"There is no question that this is going to be a big tune-up for and we need a big tune-up. We struggled last week and it's important for us to get some good things going," Tauscher said.
The injury-riddled got some good news on Wednesday with the return of defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila to practice.
McCarthy said he didn't watch Gbaja-Biamila during practice, but said it was good to finally get him on the field.
"I didn't watch him, but it was good to have him out there. So we'll evaluate the tape and see how he feels tomorrow," he said.
The coach said Gbaja-Biamila won't play against Denver, but should see some time in the final pre-season game against Tennessee.
Defensive tackle Justin Harrell has also been out with injury, but has been working out and says he feels like he may be able to return soon.
"It's actually getting to a point where I can see myself getting out there," Harrell said. "I feel like I'm close."
The second-year pro says the Packers training staff hasn't set a date yet as to when he can return.
Green Bay linebacker Nick Barnett will lose one week's worth of salary, but he won't be suspended for a game because of his role in a disturbance at an Appleton bar last year.
Barnett appealed what was originally a 1-game suspension and got the penalty reduced to a fine. It will cost him more than $155,000.