The Green Bay Packers may have already suffered their first major injury of 2013 and they have yet to play a preseason game.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is reporting via Twitter that left tackle Bryan Bulaga suffered a knee injury during Saturday’s Family Night scrimmage and that the injury could be severe. According to McGinn, the team is “hoping for the best but fearing the worst.” If the worst case scenario comes to fruition, Bulaga will be on injured reserve for a second straight season.
It’s unclear which knee Bulaga injured, but if it’s the same leg as his hip injury from last season then there could be some long-term repercussions for Bulaga. As the Packers’ best offensive lineman on a newly revamped line, this injury could prove devastating for Green Bay.
As for what the Packers will do in Bulaga’s absence, there are some options but none of them are really good scenarios. Marshall Newhouse could move to the left tackle position he held last year and let David Bakhtiari and Don Barclay battle it out for the right tackle job. They could also try Bakhtiari at left tackle and keep Barclay on the right. With Barclay entering his second year and Bakhtiari a rookie, neither of these situations are ideal.
Part of the Packers’ reasoning for shuffling the offensive line this offseason was to shore up protection of Aaron Rodgers’ blind side. That meant moving Bulaga to left tackle, which is where he played in college. Unfortunately, it looks like he may have to wait to play that position at the professional level.
For now, it will be a waiting game until official word on Bulaga comes down. Coach Mike McCarthy made no mention of this after Saturday’s scrimmage so everyone is truly in the dark for the time being.
If the report is true then the Packers may be in for another battle with the injury bug in 2013. After injuries decimated the roster last season, this is not the news Packers fans have been waiting for.
Buckle up, Packer Nation. It may be yet another bumpy ride for the Green and Gold.——————
Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke