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Report: Packers LT Bryan Bulaga Tore ACL Saturday Night

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Report: Packers LT Bryan Bulaga Tore ACL Saturday Night

The Green Bay Packers are reportedly receiving a season-ending blow to one of their most important players for the 2013 season.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Packers left tackle Bryan Bulaga suffered a torn ACL during the team's Family Night scrimmage Saturday night and will miss the upcoming season.

Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel first reported Sunday night that the Packers were "hoping for the best but fearing the worst" on a previously undisclosed injury to Bulaga's knee.

Green Bay's worst fears have now been realized.

A first-round pick of the Packers in 2010, Bulaga was penciled in as the team's starting left tackle after making the transition from the right side this offseason. His move to left tackle was the centerpiece to Mike McCarthy's plan to improve the offensive line, which allowed 51 sacks of quarterback Aaron Rodgers in 2012.

The Packers will now have to go to Plan B upfront.

More than likely, McCarthy will plug the experienced but inconsistent Marshall Newhouse back in at left tackle. The veteran has started 29 games at the position over the last two seasons, but there's a reason why the Packers decided to re-shuffle their offensive line this season. According to Pro Football Focus, Newhouse has allowed 18 sacks since 2011 while also receiving negative run blocking grades in each season.

This summer, Newhouse has been battling both Don Barclay and David Bahktiari at right tackle. If Newhouse is moved back to the left side, Barclay and Bahktiari would become the two prime candidates to start at right tackle.

Another possible scenario would involve playing Bahktiari, a fourth-round rookie from Colorado, as the starting left tackle, while having Newhouse and Barclay continue their battle on the right side. Bahktiari has surprised in camp and even took reps with the No. 1 offense in Saturday's scrimmage.

The Packers probably can't depend on either Derek Sherrod (active/PUP list) or Andrew Datko (2012 seventh-round pick) to be serious contenders to win a starting job.

Bulaga missed nine games last season (including playoffs) after dislocating his hip. If he's sidelined for all 16 games in 2013, Bulaga will have missed 27 regular-season games over four seasons since the Packers drafted him in 2010.

Zach Kruse is a 25-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covers prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at zachkruse2@gmail.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (110) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Jamie's picture

Wonder if they give Bahktiari a shot at LT. It's not like Newhouse has prototypical size either, and has been solid yet unspectacular.

GBFaninCA's picture

I'm hoping for Bahktiari and Barclay to win the tackle jobs...I would fear for Aaron if we leave Newhouse to guard his blind side again :\

jim's picture

ditto.... hoping that bakthiari can step in....but asking an awful lot from a rookie....

Evan's picture

Yeah, I sure hope so. At least let him battle for it as opposed to just giving it back to Newhouse.

Evan's picture

Per McGinn via Nagler: Bakhtiari getting first shot at LT. Love it.

trvs's picture

at only 21 years old...

Tibbits's picture

I'm thrilled with Bakhtiari's progress and he's our biggest hope for a legitimate LT, but there are going to be a lot of bumps on this road.

Evan's picture

No doubt. I just love that he's being given the shot to compete for it. May the best man win.

Cow42's picture

Wk1.
Bakhtiari vs Aldon Smith.

That should be good.

TommyG's picture

Would you prefer Datko, Newhouse, or Sherrod? No, of course not, we all prefer Bulaga. Since that simply cannot happen anymore we have to go with whom we have. I know that all fans are frustrated by our o-line woes but the team must move forward.

Mojo's picture

Well I'll be the first to broach the subject. Do you leave Sitton at LG? After all the idea was to pair him up with Buluga. Or does the reasons of moving him there still apply? I guess the left-side run game would be better with him over there.

Dennis eckersley's picture

Eff the world

Idiot Fan's picture

Exactly right.

chris's picture

I would leave Sitton at LG because I'm not too high on Lang. I still want our best lineman on the blindside especially if Newhouse goes back to LT.

Nerd's picture

There was an article somewhere, saying they want to run to the left, so they can play action Aaron to roll right, which is an easier side for him to throw from.

djbonney138's picture

Dude...lame.

fish/Crane's picture

ridiculous

Stroh's picture

The way I see it... If Bulaga is out for the year, it puts even more onus on McCarthy to run the ball. Lacy just had a terrific Family nite scrimmage, and his punishing running style is the best way to slow the pass rush down.

Curious that after all the flak Florio gets on these sites he's being given the benefit of the doubt on this matter!

jim's picture

agreed.... the running game is even more important, but it is a mistake to think that this is the loss of hope for the 2013 packers. i hate to see bulaga out, but, if that is the case, injuries happen and how can packer fans ever forget the 2010 season with all those injuries? it appears that we may get an up-close view of the quality of the packer draft in positions that we had not hoped for and sooner than we had hoped.

Stroh's picture

I never suggested, nor do I think in any way the Packers season is lost. I still think they'll win the division. They did it last year w/o Bulaga didn't they?!

Cow42's picture

They just lost their second best run blocker so I don't think simply running the ball more is going to help anything.

For those of you who were looking forward to Franklin this year... You may be seeing a whole lot less of him. This oline is going to need as many tight tends on the field as they can get.

Mulligan's role just got bigger.
Franklin's just shrunk.

Stroh's picture

Running the ball always helps the pass pro. It slows it down the pass rush and if you run right at the pass rushers you can take the burst out of their legs. I never thought Franklin was more than a rotational RB for now. But this does increase Lacy's value and judging by his performance the last week, he's moving up the depth chart. Franklins role might be as the 3rd down change of pace RB, to Lacy's power game. That's how I always envisioned it and I don't think that has changed much.

Cow42's picture

Losing Bulaga costs them at least 2 games.

The line is now officially in shambles.

Bakhtiari's gonna end up starting at LT.
He's got to be better than Newhouse... Plus Newhouse is going to have to start at RT because Sherrod's not coming back, Barclay's getting shafted by getting bounce around between like 4 different positions, and Datko's just, we'll... Datko.

Bakhtiari-Sitton-EDS-Lang-Newhouse (or the whole thing could be flipped).

YUCK!

This is what happens when you go the route of "draft and develop" and ONLY "draft and develop". A serviceable vet sure would look good right about now.

6-10

Stroh's picture

You mean like Jermon Bushrod? You do realize he graded worse than Newhouse at LT pass blocking don't you? But yeah lets go get the only serviceable, and that is a VERY loose definition, LT available! Not too mention pay him gobs of money to suck at LT!

Cow42's picture

No- what I mean is that every time a starter goes down, the guy replacing him is someone who has like zero experience or history of meaningful quality performance.

Stroh's picture

You said a serviceable vet. And Bushrod was the best serviceable vet available! We just signed Rodgers and Matthews to major contract extentions, not too mention have a couple more coming, where do you propose the cap space for signing your serviceable vet backup LT comes from? A serviceable starter at another position?

paxbak's picture

You make yourself look bad by posting these ridiculous predictions. 6-10??? It is the same team we had last year plus D Jones plus N Perry - plus improvements from last year's rookie crop. With the win in the Seattle game, we should have been 12-4 with a home playoff game against San Fran. That game would have been completely different in Green Bay. Why would you even post 6-10? Maybe it's just bait and I took it

zeke's picture

"Maybe it’s just bait and I took it"

Bingo. Unfortunately it happens; myself included.

Cow42's picture

1. Which of last year's rookies do you see being impactful this coming season? Other than Hayward no one else has shown ANY indication that they have the potential to be anything more than depth/special team contributors. Perry? Sure- he'll start, but that's pretty much by default. The only other OLB options are UFA's and late round picks. McMillian? Please. Manning? Dude's like the 4th ILB in camp right now... Like I said... Depth/ special teams.

2. The game vs SF last year would have turned out the same weather it was played in SF, GB, or the f'n moon.

3. Last season's schedule was weak as sh@t. Go take a gander at this season's schedule. If you don't see 10 potential losses on that slate, you're kidding yourself.

4. This team is paper thin on every level. Imagine if Burnett goes down, or Cobb, or Sitton, or Lang, or Rodgers, or Mathews, or Raji. Sure-you can't have pro bowlers waiting on the bench, but if any one of these guys goes down THERE IS NOTHING
BEHIND THEM. CB and RB are the only positions of depth.

packeraaron's picture

"Other than Hayward no one else has shown ANY indication that they have the potential to be anything more than depth/special team contributors"

You've watched them all throughout the spring and summer, each and every practice, to be able to be able to make this determination of course.

Otherwise this just sounds like your regular default doom and gloom that has no basis in fact.

Cow42's picture

So if someone were to suggest that all the second year guys will step up, they would be considered right. BUT if I suggest that they might not... Well... I'm just flat wrong.

Which of the second year guys do you think is anything more than depth?

Stroh's picture

Cow you... Yourself said no one other than Hayward has shown any indication of stepping up and you ruled out anyone that wasn't a high draft pick, based solely on the fact that they weren't a high draft pick! Why can't McMillan step up? Why can't Manning? According to you becuz they weren't drafted high enough.

I guess in your eyes any player not drafted in the 1st or 2nd can ever amount to anything! Just going by what you yourself said!!

Evan's picture

If someone were to insist all the second year guys were to become pro-bowlers with the same amount of certainty with which you discard them, they'd be equally foolish.

Wilson Maywick's picture

Cow,
Let me help you bro... go here: http://www.ninersnation.com/ and have fun. Your comments fit better in that forum than here.

Al Katraz's picture

I could not agree more Cow. Matter of fact, I for one, and AD did have a stellar year no doubt, thought Rogers was hand down MVP with the players he was surrounded with. May be the best QB play in history: no o line, no running game, top receivers hurt and he wins how many?

hayward4president's picture

1. You're an idiot. 2. Have u not been reading about McMillan? 3. There's your answer

Cow42's picture

McMillan couldn't beat Jennings... Who's horrible.

Stroh's picture

McMillan was a rookie and Jenning in his 2nd year. Huge difference in knowing the D don't you think? McMillan gets a little more reliable in pass coverage responsibilities and he'll easily beat out Jennings. McMillan must get better in his coverage responsibilities otherwise he's far more talented that Jennings! And he's as athletically talented as any Safety drafted outside the 2nd round of this draft.

hayward4president's picture

Um last year he was a rookie ..this year he is slowly passing up MD for the starting job.

paxbak's picture

Players that will be better due to additional off season:

Mcmillen
Manning
Boykins
D Moses
N Perry
Barclay
Heyward
N Perry

These guys all got significant reps last year. As you know, typically young players get better quicker.

Yes, the playoff game in cold Green Bay under a slow track would have been much different. There is no way Kap hangs 181 against us in those conditions. Would have been a close game going either way.

The only way I see 10 losses on our schedule is if A Rodg goes down. In that case we are 4-12.

jim's picture

even without bulaga, this team has a lot more potential than 6-10

bogfan's picture

6-10 teams in the NFL tend to have glaring weaknesses on offense. I don't see that on this team.

I'd call the Jets a 6-10 team. Definitely not the Packers.

Cow42's picture

O line is a GLARING weakness.

TommyG's picture

It is indeed. However we had glaring problems there last year as well. I do see 10 potential losses on the sked; to be extremely pessimistic, there are 16 possible losses on the sked. This is not a 6-10 team though. Losing Bulaga does not add two losses. The only loss that can make this team a 6-10 would be to AR himself.

Jamie's picture

Cowtaint

TommyG's picture

Cow brings a great, though sometimes off-base, counter-point to our conversations. Check out some of the other fan pages that are just talking heads agreeing with one another; you'll appreciate Cow after that.

Nerd's picture

Ted's got plenty of depth with which to make a trade.

That said, let's see how Datko looks after a few days playing at his actual position. We don't know how close Sherrod is either.

trvs's picture

That could be interesting...but what would we be selling, a RB? Maybe a CB?

Evan's picture

I could definitely see them trading a RB. Whether or not that'd bring back an OL worth anything remains to be seen.

Cow42's picture

Sure- you're gonna get a starting LT for Starks.

HA!

trvs's picture

As you mentioned "the only positions with depth"... I don't think any of the veteran running backs would equal a starting caliber LT.

Evan's picture

Did someone suggest that?

gbslapshot's picture

Omg! Omg! Omg!

Tony's picture

I love getting kicked in the dick to start my day.

Drealyn Williams's picture

I know it's part of the game -- but I am so sick of this sh*t!!! Where are the optimistic fans at? Share something positive,please...

PadLevel's picture

Why is Marshall Newhouse being so under-estimated? Yes, he had his troubles but they still went 22-6 with him and with no running game. Bulaga was not the reason they failed to advance in the playoffs last year. First regular season game is more than a month away and the coaches have enough time to re-adjust the positions. I strongly believe this will be a non-issue when the season starts.

Cow42's picture

Sort of like saying the 95-96 Bulls won 72 games thanks to Jud Buechler.

PadLevel's picture

Cow,
Let me make it simple for you.
Newhouse was rated as the 53rd OT by PFF. Bulaga was 52nd. I will take Newhouse if Bulaga is unavailable. Last year proved that this is not just wishful thinking. Losing Bulaga is not in the category of losing a HOF'er like Jon Ogden, so lets not overhype this loss.

Cow42's picture

And I'll make this simple for you... The crappy Packer line just lost it's second best player. It was bad. Now it will be worse.

Newhouse is so f'n bad that even after Bulaga's injury, they're still going to go with a 4th rd rookie instead.

Spin it any way you like... This injury is catastrophic.

Evan's picture

Catastrophic? Get a grip.

It hurts, no doubt. But they weathered the same storm last season. No reason they can't do it again this year.

Hands's picture

They played w/o BB most of last year so they will do it again this year. It's a blow but not even close to a death keel. The Packers seem to have issues w/ Oline injuries but if they can keep everyone else healthy.....they will work through it.

Cow42's picture

Yup- they sure did play without BB last year... And gave up 700 sacks and ran for under 4 ypc.

So we've got that to look forward to again.

Sweet.

Stroh's picture

Yet they still won 11 games. But never fear your beloved 9ers lost there best WR, so I guess their season is doomed too!

Cow42's picture

Vs a horsesh@t schedule.

But never mind that St. Louis, Tennessee, Jacksonville, and Arizona are nowhere to be found.

Norman's picture

Hey, don't diss the Rams, your '9ers couldn't beat them in the two games they played them last year.

packsmack25's picture

Good God, this team is snakebit. Must be the penalty for being blessed with great QB play for 2 decades.

Al Katraz's picture

or a very poor condition team. the two people who came out the other night looked young and inexperienced. 16 injuries on a team that hasn't played a game yet? Please!

packsmack25's picture

This feels more like a cascade injury than a conditioning injury. Rehabbed too hard coming back from the hip, and it took a toll on his ligaments.

Bearmeat's picture

Let's keep in mind that the only one who's broken the official torn ACL diagnosis is Mike Florio on PFT.

Hopefully it's not torn or it's a MCL/PCL and Bulaga can play this year.

TommyG's picture

Adam Schefter and The Associated Press have also.

Beep's picture

Tell Bulaga to tape it up and get back in there.

Evan's picture

It would seem as if he did just that during the scrimmage...

Al Katraz's picture

Wish Bulaga the best. What a great kid.
I was concerned about his hip and it ended up being his knee.
Still wish we had gone with two O linemen in the first three rounds. However, we all pretty much knew that they needed a lot: defense, running backs, etc.
My take was you can't pass deep and run effectively without a top O line. Maybe I'm wrong.

lebowski's picture

Can't stand Florio, but he was spot on in saying that for an O line littered with guys who played left tackle in college, we sure as hell can't find one. Unbelievable.

Cole's picture

Today is like Christmas morning for Cow.

Evan's picture

I was just thinking we hadn't seen him around here lately. Too much positive news, I guess.

KurtMc's picture

New playbook modification, Aaron run/roll right...alot!

Bulaga is a great guy. At least MM has some time to get (player to be named?) some reps at the position & the line used to another change.

murphy's picture

Anyone have Clifton's number?

Tarynfor12's picture

So we have what we ended with last season on the OL.Before the announced moving of Bulaga/Sitton to the left side,wasn't everyone screaming that better RBs would be a solution or at least a huge benefit to not only the deep pass for Rodgers,but lessen the sacks on him.So we got the 'Thunder and Lightning' many screamed for before the switch was finalized.Whats the problem...isn't this what should not matter because of the new RBs,who is on the line at T's.
Newhouse/Sitton(?)/EDS/Lang(?)/Barclay and two new RBs.
The upside is this happened now,at least Newhouse can get solid(?) reps in before the regular season starts.

Idiot Fan's picture

All true. It's just that the prospect of having improved line play AND improved running backs sounded so sweet.

Cow42's picture

Although I'm still not convinced that simply flipping the line would have resulted in better line play.

Idiot Fan's picture

Sure. Hence the "prospect."

Tarynfor12's picture

This is like a 7 year old who gets full run of the candy store on Sept 8th and finds out its for 2014.

Cow42's picture

David Carr better watch his back... That record of his may be history by week 10.

Idiot Fan's picture

I think we all would like #12 on his back way less than last year. But with virtually the same line as ended last year (pending any other injuries), plus a full year of EDS over Saturday and very likely improved RB play, you wouldn't think it would get worse than last year, and it's still likely to be better, if not quite as much as we hoped, don't you think?

Stroh's picture

No he doesn't... Think, that is! He just blurts out the first negative thing to come to mind, regardless if it makes any sense!

L's picture

I have to wonder if Bakhtiari is a major improvement over Newhouse in the run game? If so, I think I'd like to see him given every opportunity to start over Newhouse at LT and hopefully Barclay can win the RT job b/c he is a much better run blocking T then Newhouse. With a lineup like...

LT: Bakhtiari
LG: Sitton
C: EDS
RG: Lang
RT: Barclay

...I think our running game would prove much more effective which would go a long way toward keeping pass rushers more honest and less likely to have an effect against our Tackles. On a side note: Newhouse should prove to be a solid backup option at both Tackle positions.

Cow42's picture

Just look at that OL group.
Seriously... Look at that.
Could it possibly be worse?

Idiot Fan's picture

It's not the most awe-inspiring, but I would take it over the Bears oline. Not that that is saying much.

Cow42's picture

No way.

TommyG's picture

Could it be worse? Of course it could. Things can always be worse. The question is whether or not it's worse than last year? I think we are looking at the same problems there with a chance at a better running attack. Yes, our o-line sucks, bad.

L's picture

Yes, of course it could be worse, but even though losing Bulaga was a major hit to the O-line it presents a clear opportunity to see what we have with Bakhtiari. I also hope that the training staff decide to go with the better run blocking Tackle if the battle shapes up to be between Barclay and Newhouse for the starting RT position. I believe this line has the potential to be better than last years, especially in regards to the run.

The team won 11 games last year with an over-the-hill and ineffective J.Saturday maning the Center position for most of the year last year. EDS took over the Center position only toward the end of the season. The loss of Bulaga for 9 games eventually forced the team to start an undrafted free agent rookie (Don Barclay) to man his RT position. Newhouse wasn't very good at run blocking nor in pass blocking at the LT position. TJ Lang proved ineffective when shifted to the Tackle position and regressed some at the LG position (supposedly due to some nagging injuries).

This year EDS will begin the season as the starting Center, will have prepared all through training camp and pre-season to be the starter, plus has the experience he accumilated from last year to build off of. I believe the Guards should be a strength of the O-line this year. Sitton should hopefully continue his excellent play and do so at the more important position (IMO) of LG instead of RG. Lang hopefully is past whatever nagging injuries he dealt with last year and is able to get back to being a solid starting Guard. Newhouse and definitely Barclay should be better then they were last year. Ideally, these two players battle it out for that starting RT position while a rookie 4th rounder proves to be much better than his draft round and is able to lock down the LT position for the Pack not only this year, but for the foreseeable future too. This leaves Sherrod and Bulaga to battle Newhouse and Barclay for the starting RT position next year and the versatile back-up positions.

Wishful thinking? Perhaps, but it's not that far out of the realm of possibility.

Mojo's picture

I would like to see how the injury occurred. Did a D-lineman go gonzo when Bulaga wasn't expecting it? I'm sure the players are instructed before hand not to put there fellow teammates in jeopardy? I know they tackle, but this was after all a scrimmage. Or did Buluga just twist his knee in some freak fashion. I'd be interested to know if it was a result of bad luck or if a teammate was overly aggressive. As pissed as I am, I'd be even more so if it were the later.

Stroh's picture

Scrimmage = Practice game.

Hitting is allowed and encouraged in a scrimmage, except on the QB. They don't hit enough in practice as it is IMO.

More of a freak kinda thing from what I can tell. He was engaged w/ Mulumba the OLB, and it sounds like he fell awkwardly on the knee and it happened when he landed on the knee in an awkward position.

Evan's picture

Zach is saving all his good stuff for Bleacher Report, it seems. (JK)

Very interesting/encouraging stats about how the Packers fared with and without Bulaga last year.

http://img.bleacherreport.net/img/article/media_slots/photos/001/000/572...

Full article here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1727421-will-packers-patchwork-o-line...

trvs's picture

I appreciated Zach's optimism, but this has to be a total mind game for McCarthy.

I am glass half full kind of guy and can only hope this sparks a major motivational boost for every OL player. Bulaga was ready for his shot and now the door is wide-open for who takes either tackle position.

Just thought about Mulligan being able to help the LT...might help.

Evan's picture

Flagged for moderation? Am I in timeout?

TommyG's picture

Goodness, what did you say?

Evan's picture

Ha. Nothing. It was my comment above about Zach and BR. I had just never been flagged before.

zeke's picture

I'd like to go back to the time when the biggest issue was whether players no longer on the team thought the QB was a jerk, please.

lebowski's picture

that made me laugh.

KurtMc's picture

I'd like to point out, that not all 51 sacks were O-Lines fault. #12 was holding onto the ball for +3 seconds (2.43 sec was the average) and basically no running game forced the passing play calling (OK - MM love to air it out). Still, a good staff will find a way to compensate for the loss.

Cow42's picture

So all we need now is a good staff.
Sweet.

KurtMc's picture

Correction, my bad #12 had 2.76 sec to pass, but the greatest number of drop backs for pass in 2012.

KurtMc's picture

Even - nice link. Thanks.

mani2packers's picture

They won without Bulaga last year. What makes u think they can't this year? Did we lose all the nine games he missed last year? To be honest Rodgers was sacked less after Bulaga left and the run game was better. not blaming Bulaga but just saying

Idiot Fan's picture

Random question - is Tretter done for the year, or is there hope of him coming back at some point later on?

Evan's picture

Slim hope, I think.

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

Crap. That's football. Those with the fewest injuries win.

TommyG's picture

Except in 2010 when we won it all. No, I'm not saying injuries are a good thing. I'm simply pointing out that not every injury spells disaster.

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