Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 matchups to watch

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images /
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Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images /

1. Jason Spriggs vs Byron Bell

A few seasons ago, the Packers traded up to draft Jason Spriggs out of Indiana. The former All-Big Ten tackle has struggled to take the next step at the NFL level. After being a left tackle in college, he’s been moved to the right side at this level, but he’s struggled to do well at either. The Packers coaching staff benched him last week in favor of veteran free agent Byron Bell. Both will be backups, but they are of great importance considering the team’s past injury history.

After showing some promise early in his career, Bell has fallen off in recent years. Since leaving the Panthers, he’s bounced from the Dallas Cowboys and now to Green Bay. While he’s miscast as a backup tackle, it may be his only way to make the team. Bryan Bulaga has only played all 16 games twice in his career. The team needs a quality backup behind him in the event that he can’t go.

Neither of these players is a starter. If they are thrust into a starting role, the team could be in some trouble, especially if Justin McCray doesn’t make significant strides at right guard. Spriggs is younger and still has the ability to become a good player. He just has to figure it all out. Bell is more of a natural guard, but he has to make the team as a tackle. Luckily, Cameron Heyward likely won’t play, or things could have gotten even more ugly.