The Green Bay Packers will attempt to win the NFC North on Sunday night without left tackle David Bakhtiari and cornerback Sam Shields.
After starting the first 46 games of his NFL career, Bakhtiari will miss a second consecutive game with an injured ankle. Even though he practiced all week, Shields will miss a third consecutive game with a concussion.
Based on pregame warm-ups, Pro Bowl left guard Josh Sitton will swing out to left tackle to replace Bakhtiari. This would be Sitton's first NFL start at anything other than guard. At Central Florida, he played both guard spots and right tackle. With the left tackle facing Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, a 273-pounder, the Packers might have liked Sitton's size for that key matchup.
Last week at Arizona, Don Barclay got the start at left tackle but allowed four sacks. The Packers are rolling the dice on Sitton rather than a second chance with Barclay or J.C. Tretter, who played left tackle at Cornell and took some reps in individual drills at that position this week.
The mystery is who will start at left guard. Barclay and Lane Taylor took first-team reps during warm-ups. Taylor took the first snap alongside Sitton. Whoever it is, the Packers will have a new-look left side with the division title and the No. 3 seed on the line.
The Packers figure to go with rookies Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins at cornerback in the base defense with Casey Hayward playing the slot in the nickel package.
Bakhtiari was listed as questionable and Shields was downgraded to doubtful on Saturday.
For Minnesota, the only noteworthy inactive is standout defensive tackle Linval Joseph.
The Packers’ other inactives are quarterback Brett Hundley, cornerback LaDarius Gunter, Walker, tight end Justin Perillo (hamstring) and outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott (quad).
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