In week 17, the Green Bay Packers lost right tackle Bryan Bulaga for much of their game against the Detroit Lions. The Packers came back to win, yes, but the concussion that Bulaga suffered in that contest put his status for the team’s Divisional Playoff game in doubt.
Thankfully, on Wednesday the Packers’ medical staff formally cleared Bulaga from the concussion protocol, according to multiple media reports. This puts to rest any doubts about Bulaga suiting up on Sunday, which will be a huge boost for the Packers’ line.
This season, Bulaga played in each of the 16 regular season games, making it just the third year of his career when he did so. He did miss significant time in three different contests —week four’s loss to the Eagles, week 11’s loss to the 49ers, and week 17 — but was a steady and consistent presence throughout the remainder of the season. Bulaga also had another exceptional performance as a pass-blocker this season, helping the Packers’ offensive line as a whole record the highest pass-block win rate of any team in 2019.
Against the Lions, the team soldiered on with veteran Jared Veldheer in Bulaga’s place, as the midseason addition performed well. However, the team has performed best when all five linemen have been on the field, helping the Packers to a sixth-place ranking in Adjusted Line Yards (run success) and the 10th spot in Adjusted Sack Rate. Against a Seahawks pass rush that had a field day against the Eagles’ backup right tackle and an old, immobile quarterback in Josh McCown, Bulaga will be a key part to helping ensure that Aaron Rodgers has time in the pocket — or at least that he has some opportunity to escape.