Report: Knee Injury Might End Bulaga's Season

If true, the injury is the latest setback for Bryan Bulaga, the team's 2010 first-round pick. It also would be a major blow to coach Mike McCarthy's plan to put the team's best blockers on the left side to protect Aaron Rodgers.

Bryan Bulaga potentially sustained a season-ending knee injury during the first series of Saturday night's Family Night Scrimmage, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Bob McGinn.

On the third play of the opening series, outside linebacker Andy Mulumba bulled over Bulaga, though Bulaga looked fine after the play. Later, as the offense approached the end zone, Bulaga got up gingerly after a running play and limped back to the huddle. He stayed in the game and didn't miss any of the No. 1 offense's snaps.

Bulaga was not mentioned by coach Mike McCarthy in his post-scrimmage injury report, with Bulaga disclosing the injury to the training staff afterward, with further tests done on Sunday.

According to McGinn, "Sources said the Packers had concern that the injury was a torn ligament and would turn out to be season-ending."

Bulaga did not immediately respond to a message from Packer Report.

Bulaga, the team's first-round pick in 2010, started the final 12 games of his rookie season, 12 games in 2011 and nine games in 2012, with all 33 starts coming at right tackle.

He's had a strong camp at left tackle, including a 7-0 mark in the daily one-on-one pass-protection drills.

"I feel good right now," he told Packer Report last week. "The first couple days, I didn't feel as comfortable as I did during OTAs for some reason. Coach (James) Campen and I, we worked on some things, we watched tape, we talked about it and changed a couple things up with my pass sets, and now I feel a lot more comfortable with it."

During the offseason, Bulaga was moved to left tackle to help protect Rodgers' blind side. The move was a gamble because of Bulaga's injury history. He missed the final seven games of 2012 with a hip injury and had a pair of two-game absences due to knee injuries in 2011. He also missed three games at Iowa in 2009 with a thyroid problem and five games in 2007 with a shoulder injury.

Where do the Packers turn from here? By the end of Saturday, it was pretty well established that Marshall Newhouse and rookie David Bakhtiari would be competing to start at right tackle. Newhouse started every snap at left tackle in 2012 and made 10 starts there in 2011. Bakhtiari started at left tackle at Colorado in 2011 and 2012. Don Barclay could re-enter the mix at right tackle. Derek Sherrod, the team's first-round pick in 2011, still has not practiced due to a broken leg sustained late in his rookie season.

Meanwhile, a source told Packer Report that Ryan Taylor's injury is not as severe as feared and he will be sidelined for a week or two. Taylor, a backup tight end and key special-teams performer, was carted off the field on Saturday following a punt.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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