Kink in the line

Bedell's injury will affect depth on offensive line

Brad Bedell's progress took a hit Wednesday morning during practice when he fell to the Clarke Hinkle Field turf during a blocking drill. The offensive lineman was taking on defensive lineman Kenny Peterson in a one-on-one drill when Bedell's right hamstring succumbed to the pressure.

What does this mean for the Green Bay Packers? More than you might think.

Bedell has had a productive off-season working on his strength and technique. He came on strong late last season as the backup to Chad Clifton. At this point in training camp, Bedell is the Packers' top reserve offensive lineman next to tackle Kevin Barry. Brennan Curtin and Steve Morley are the next best tackles, but nowhere near the level of Bedell and Barry.

If given a chance, Bedell probably could start at tackle for other NFL teams, but has to be content with playing behind Clifton and right tackle Mark Tauscher.

So when Bedell was carted off the field, it marked a setback for the offensive line, which is trying to rebuild the guard position after the Packers lost Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera via free agency in March.

If Bedell pulled his hamstring, he'll be out about a week. If it's a tear of the muscle, he could be out much longer.

Like Bedell, offensive line coach Larry Beightol was disappointed afterward.

"That's a key blow to him," Beightol said. "He left the field here ... he was very emotional about it, and I can understand. He wants to be a part of this, and he can be a real big part of it."

Bedell played in four games with the Packers last season. He signed a one-year contract with the team in March. If the injury keeps him sidelined through the end of camp, the Packers probably will keep him on the roster because of the progress he has made this off-season in minicamps and opportunity sessions.

"Excellent camp, excellent camp," Beightol said of Bedell. "I like him a lot. I think he's a competitive guy. He's athletic. He's tough."


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