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Looking Unlikely for Bulaga to Play vs. Bears

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Looking Unlikely for Bulaga to Play vs. Bears

Tackle Bryan Bulaga has a kneecap sprain and will be challenged to play this upcoming Sunday against the Chicago Bears on Christmas Day, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said in a Monday press conference.

Bulaga hurt the same leg on Sunday in the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs he did earlier in the season in Week 3 against the Bears, but the Packers perhaps dodged a bullet when Bulaga sustained a different injury than the original one.

Combined with the season-ending injury to backup Derek Sherrod, the Packers are experiencing depth issues along the offensive line.

"It's next guy up," said McCarthy. "It's something every football team goes through. We had extensive experience with that last year, and we're in a little bit of that mode right now."

Sherrod suffered a broken leg and underwent successful surgery Sunday evening while still in Kansas City. McCarthy said he hoped the rookie offensive tackle would be able to return to Green Bay later in the week.

After both Bulaga and Sherrod went down, T.J. Lang shifted from left guard to right tackle while Evan Dietrich-Smith took Lang's place at left guard.

At least for the time being, that will be the same offensive line McCarthy anticipates entering the Week 16 matchup against the Bears.

"I think it's safe to say that," said McCarthy. "That's the way we talked about it this weekend. Like anything, I'm being very premature speaking out on Monday."

McCarthy wouldn't rule out Bulaga for the Bears game, but the way the coach spoke on Monday, it would appear unlikely that he'll be able to play in six days.

One thing that help might help out the Packers and their depth issues is the potential return of left tackle Chad Clifton who hasn't played since sustaining a hamstring injury in Week 5.

The hamstring should have healed enough by now for Clifton to return, according to McCarthy, but of more concern at this moment, is the back issue Clifton is dealing with as he makes his comeback.

The goal will be for Clifton to participate in individual drills on Wednesday when the Packers return to practice, but how he progresses and responds to activity for the first time in several weeks will determine whether he will be ready to play.

With Sherrod expected to be placed on injured reserve, the Packers will very likely make a roster move in the next day or two.

Among the team's options would be to elevate tackle Chris Campbell from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. Campbell was on the Packers' practice squad last season during their Super Bowl run.

He was also in training camp this summer before getting injured and later cut. Campbell was again signed to the practice squad at midseason.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (23) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bearmeat's picture

Note to MM: 3 step drops. Run the ball. Screens. Draws.

Please don't get AR killed.

bryce's picture

I say start flynn until Clifton or Bulaga or both or healthy. I'd rather play in Candlestick with Rodgers than at Lambeau without him.

CSS's picture

Packers will need to score 14 to win this game. Even with the defense giving up gobs of yards I just can't see any QB or skill position player with the Bears scoring points on the Packers.

Best thing to possibly happen for the health of this team would be a Steelers win this evening.

Idiot Fan's picture

I'm kind of torn on that - if the Steelers win, then it's very likely that the Saints end up with the 2-seed. I'd like NOLA to have to play another game on the road before potentially coming to Lambeau. I think we can beat the Bears in their current state of disarray, even while resting Bulaga and others.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

With you on the seeding thinking.

Bearmeat's picture

Yep. I'm a SF fan tonight. I'd rather play SF at home in the NFCCG than NO. Yesterday was an aberration on offense. SF won't keep up with us. NO is a bit more scary, and I'd like them to go to SF in the Div game.

bryce's picture

the saints and the giants are about the only two teams i'm afraid of in the entire nfl at this point, and maybe the patriots

RockinRodgers's picture

Maybe they will bring Chris Campbell up from the practice squad.

NoWayJose's picture

I hope Ray Dominguez is capable of backing up all 5 positions on the line simultaneously! No big deal for a seasoned veteran like him!

Evan's picture

Quick, to the Tausch-signal.

andrew harman's picture


Nerd's Laptop's picture

Dominguez and Campbell are guards, are they not?

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

No, no, no Nerd. Our O lineman are interchangeable, proficient at all positions. Where you been man?

BTF's picture

Dominguez was a college RT but struggled there in preseason but looked OK at RG IIRC. Pretty sure Campbell is a tackle but a very raw one..

packeraaron's picture

Campbell is a tackle. Dominguez started at tackle then was moved to guard during camp. (He was a complete disaster at tackle the day I was there.)

PackersRS's picture

So it's Newhouse, EDS, Wells, Sitton and Lang. And who's on the bench, most likely?

Mojo's picture

Ugh! It's going to be up to the D and ST's to win this one with this starting o-line. Weak on both tackles and EDS at guard. Like Bearmeat said, quick passes, screens, etc. It would be disasterous to have A-Rod get pummeled.

bryce's picture

rodger should be, with that lineup

pkrNboro's picture

I know that picking 32nd in the draft is roughly akin to picking in the 2nd round.

I know there was no "off-season."

I know he (tried to) played LG in camp.

But can anyone say that they really saw something in Sherrod that made them think: "yeah, he's the LT of the future" ?

If so, please reference the game, quarter, and minute-mark so I can see this for myself...

andrew harman's picture

he is raw.. lang and bulaga did not look great as rookies but i think lang looks like a solid starter at guard now... as does bulaga as a RT tho i dont think he will ever be a great LT however.. i think investing more picks into our offensive line in the future is probably a good idea tho

packeraaron's picture

From Baranczyk:

<em>Derek Sherrod...has come a long way since training camp, particularly with his hands. He still has to get better at sinking his hips and knees, especially in the running game. But his height and arm length is enough to make an offensive line coach drool. Newhouse has a ceiling; Sherrod’s upside might be unlimited if he can come back from his injury.</em>

And from McGinn:

<em>Sherrod started poorly, allowing ILB Derrick Johnson to play through his gap and halt John Kuhn on a third-and-1 dive. Sherrod also gave up three hurries, including two to Houston. Sensing weakness, Hali shifted sides and rushed one-on-one against Sherrod twice, and both times the rookie held him off. Given how poorly Sherrod played in August, this final showing was fairly encouraging. </em>

bryce's picture

good point.

bryce's picture

With the offensive line in tatters, I'd like to see Flynn get in there so that Rodgers kidneys remain in tact.

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