The Green Bay Packers suffered a potentially significant blow to the offense on Wednesday, when veteran right tackle Bryan Bulaga went down with an ankle injury during the team’s open practice. Bulaga reportedly limped off the field, and his long-term status is in question.
On Thursday, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy spoke to the media, but had little news on Bulaga’s status. He said that Bulaga was still going through medical tests, and for that reason he could not provide a potential timeline for the tackle’s return to the field. However, he did confirm that Bulaga will not play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Denver Broncos.
The one encouraging sign that McCarthy gave was saying that Bulaga is “feeling better today (Thursday) than he was yesterday.”
With Bulaga out, second-year pros Jason Spriggs and Kyle Murphy are battling for the backup right tackle job. Murphy took the first snaps on Wednesday immediately following the injury, but he and Spriggs alternated throughout practice. McCarthy was complimentary of both players: “I really like where they’re at; (it) looks like they’re taking that step in their second year.”
McCarthy went on to say that he is confident in both players and that they have had “good camps.” That seems to conflict with the struggles that Spriggs displayed in last Saturday’s preseason game in Washington, but evidently the coaching staff feels that his full body of work this summer has been better than what he showed in that game.
Stay tuned for more updates on Bulaga and on the right tackle competition over the next few days.
UPDATE: Bulaga talked to reporters on Thursday. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Bulaga is “not too concerned” and said his X-rays showed no broken bones. Demovsky also reports that Bulaga is “optimistic” about being able to play in week one against Seattle.