GREEN BAY — Although both their starting tackles were able to participate on a limited basis in Tuesday’s helmets-and-shorts practice, it’s a long way from a guarantee that left tackle David Bakhtiari and right tackle Bryan Bulaga will be able to protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers against the Chicago Bears come Thursday night.
Nevertheless, for a team in dire straits at the tackle position, whatever Bakhtiari (hamstring) and Bulaga (ankle) were able to do qualified as good news for the Green Bay Packers.
That said, Packers offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett didn’t sound like a man brimming with confidence that his bookend tackles would be good to go.
“It’s early in the process,” Bennett said after practice. “Certainly, having those guys back out on the field, it helps. But like I said, it’s early, it’s a short week. We still have a few days as far as our overall preparation. And we’ll certainly make the most of those days.”
Bulaga missed the first two games of the season after injuring his right ankle during an Aug. 23 training camp practice. He made his first start in Green Bay's overtime win Sunday against Cincinnati, but departed after 47 snaps after he aggravated the injury.
Bakhtiari has missed the past two games after doing the splits at the end of the Sept. 10 opener against Seattle and injuring his hamstring in the process.
“I’m getting better,” Bakhtiari said. “I’ve been progressing every day since the injury. That’s important. No (setbacks).
“We’ve taken a step every day and that’s been important. Hopefully we continue that trend.”
The Packers placed second-year tackle Kyle Murphy, who started the opener at right tackle and the past two games at left tackle, on injured reserve Tuesday with a foot injury he suffered against the Bengals.
The Packers also signed tackle Ulrick John off the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad to take Murphy’s roster spot.
With Murphy, Jason Spriggs (hamstring) and Don Barclay (ankle) on IR, if Bulaga and Bakhtiari can’t play against the Bears, the Packers would presumably start Justin McCray at right tackle and either John or practice-squad call-up Adam Pankey at left tackle.
“I think regardless of what’s happened at the position, I’ve been attacking the (hamstring) issue that we were dealt in the training room and maximizing my recovery every day,” Bakhtiari said. “I think we’re on a smart plan.
“We’ve been progressing. Moving forward, we’re going to continue the same trend and getting back as quick and safe as possible.”
John hopes to help
For John, September has been a whirlwind.
He initially made the Cardinals’ 53-man roster, then was cut and re-signed to their practice squad.
On Monday, just as he was about to leave home to head to University of Phoenix Stadium for the Cardinals’ prime-time game against the Dallas Cowboys, he got the call that the Packers were plucking him from the Cardinals’ practice squad and adding him to their roster.
“It’s crazy,” John said after practice Tuesday.
It could get even crazier if John actually has to start against the Bears.
John started three games last year at right tackle for the Cardinals before suffering a shoulder injury at the end of the third game, landing him on injured reserve. He will have had only one true practice before playing Thursday night.
“This is going on to my third time learning a new system, so it’s nothing new,” John said. “Every year I’ve started out on (a) practice squad, got picked up somewhere.
“I’m ready to learn, get it in as quick as I can and get out on the field. I’m excited for it.”
Wide receiver Randall Cobb (chest) was listed as a full participant in Tuesday’s practice, as were outside linebacker Nick Perry (hand), safety Kentrell Brice (groin) and linebacker Jake Ryan (hamstring/concussion). Perry practiced with a club cast on his right hand; last year, he broke his left hand and missed two games before playing with a similar cast. … Defensive tackle Mike Daniels (hip) was listed as limited. … Cornerback Davon House (quadriceps) was the only player who did not practice and wasn’t placed on IR, meaning he’s unlikely to play Thursday. … The Packers reached an injury settlement with long-snapper Brett Goode, who suffered a hamstring injury Thursday. The settlement clears the way for him to be re-signed later this year once he’s fully healed and sits out an additional three weeks beyond the settlement time frame.