GREEN BAY – Offensive lineman T.J. practiced at left tackle on Sunday after having previously seen time exclusively on the right side of the line during this season's training camp.
With both Chad Clifton and Bryan Bulaga limited to the jog-through portion of practice, Lang took snaps at left tackle with both the first- and second-string units.
Lang had served as the Packers starting left tackle for two games during his rookie season in 2009 when filling in for an injured Clifton. But ever since the start of training camp, the coaching staff had been working Lang at only right guard and right tackle prior to today.
According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette's Mike Vandermause reporting on Twitter from head coach Mike McCarthy's post-practice press conference:
MM: Lang missed offseason program and it showed. He is getting better.
Lang reportedly underwent surgery on his left wrist in early May after suffering a broken bone the previous December. The injury, however, didn't prevent Lang from missing any games last season.
The second-year player out of Eastern Michigan has been visibly rusty after having not taken part in any of the team's offseason practices during OTAs and minicamp but appears to be progressing as time goes on.
Lang practiced at both left tackle and right tackle on Sunday but didn't spend any time at right guard. It's unclear whether Lang will continue to practice left tackle or whether this was a short-term solution due to injury issues.
Lang would seem to be the primary backup at both right tackle and right guard if something were to happen to either starters, Mark Tauscher and Josh Sitton. He may now also be the primary backup at left tackle until Bulaga proves 100% healthy.
Making an impression: Undrafted rookie Sam Shields worked as the No. 1 nickel back on Sunday with Brandon Underwood sitting out of practice after having sustained a shoulder injury during this past Thursday's preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Shields, Underwood and Pat Lee all received chances with the team's first-string defense on Thursday, and the rookie free agent may have performed the best of any of them.
It appears as if Shields has vaulted ahead of Lee in the competition. With Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams sitting on the sidelines, Shields teamed with Jarrett Bush as the team's No. 2 cornerback tandem while Lee and D.J. Clark paired up with the third-string defense.
In another positive sign for the rookie, he also continued to work with the No. 1 kickoff and punt units during the special teams segment of practice.
In and out: Several players participated in the jog-through portion of practice only on Sunday.
On the offensive side of the football Chad Clifton and Bryan Bulaga dressed in only shorts and shells, while the rest of the team wore pads. On the defensive side of things, the same applied to Cullen Jenkins, Clay Matthews and Brad Jones.
According to several reports, Matthews said he could return to practice this week. Whether or not that means he will play in Thursday's preseason finale in Kansas City remains to be seen.
When both Matthews and Jones participated before exiting, the Packers defense showed multiple looks with the linebackers bouncing around from place-to-place, at one time with Matthews and Jones lining up on the same side of the line of scrimmage.
The team appeared to preparing for regular season opponents as defensive coordinator Dom Capers has been reluctant to show such creative pressure schemes during exhibition games.
Injury report: Offensive lineman Allen Barbre, cornerback Brandon Underwood and safety Will Blackmon were not present at Sunday's practice.
Barbre was injured in the second preseason game against Seattle and has not participated since. Underwood injured a shoulder against the Colts, and it's still unclear the severity of his injury. As for Blackmon, he's been in and out of practice since coming off of ACL surgery last season and doesn't appear to be fully covered yet.
Running back Quinn Porter (knee) and linebacker Desmond Bishop (hamstring) were at practice but did not participate. Both were injured in Thursday's Colts game.
Moving around: Breno Giacomini practiced at right guard for the first time in training camp.
Tim Masthay got more opportunities to kickoff at practice. With the wind at his back, one of his kickoffs sailed out the back of the endzone.
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