Bryan Bulaga, the Green Bay Packers’ standout right tackle, has been ruled out for Sunday night’s showdown at Seattle due to a knee injury sustained at Thursday’s practice.
“He is still going through the evaluation process but he will not play in Sunday night’s game,” coach Mike McCarthy said on Friday morning, declining to speculate on how long Bulaga might be sidelined.
"Knowing Bryan," guard Josh Sitton said, "it'll be shorter than what they expect."
Bulaga reportedly sustained a MCL sprain to his left knee. He was injured during an individual drill early in Thursday’s practice.
“Well, it’s never a good time in the week for it to happen, obviously,” McCarthy said. “But it’s football. It’s unfortunate but we’ll deal with it.”
The Packers will deal with it by either starting Don Barclay or J.C. Tretter at right tackle. More than likely, it will be Barclay, who started four games at right tackle as an undrafted rookie in 2012 when Bulaga was out with a hip injury and 14 more games in 2013 when Bulaga missed the entire season with a torn left ACL. Barclay took Bulaga's place during Thursday's practice, he said.
Bulaga suffered a sprained left knee in the Week 1 game at Seattle last season. He missed the following game against the Jets but started the rest of the season. Bulaga who signed a five-year, $33.75 million contract on the eve of free agency despite durability concerns. When healthy, he's been excellent -- especially last season. However, he missed four games in 2011, seven games in 2012, all 16 in 2013 and the one game last season.
Barclay, who is returning from his own ACL injury, got off to a poor start to training camp but finished strong as he knocked off a year’s worth of rust and gained confidence in the knee. He spent most of training camp at left tackle when David Bakhtiari was out. Now, it’s back to the more familiar right side.
“Any time you have the opportunity to train at left side, right side, whether it’s guard or tackle, there’s definitely a benefit to it,” McCarthy said. “But there’s also a challenge from the aspect of their footwork because obviously playing the left side is different than playing the right side. That’s a big part of the versatility that you look for in all of your players. Donnie Barclay has that and J.C. Tretter has that.”
If there was one small surprise on the injury report, it's that Packers safety Morgan Burnett is questionable. The Packers will practice on Saturday. Burnett fares will determine his availability for Sunday. UPDATE: On Saturday, the Packers upgraded Burnett to probable.
Below are the final injury reports.
Packers injury report
Player (injury): Status for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Status.
OT Bryan Bulaga (knee): Not listed, Limited, DNP. Out.
S Morgan Burnett (calf): Limited, Limited, Limited. Questionable.
WR Randall Cobb (shoulder): Limited, Limited, Limited. Probable.
OLB Jayrone Elliott (quad): Limited, Limited, Limited. Probable.
Seahawks injury report
Player (injury): Status for Wednesday, Thursday
DE Michael Bennett (ankle): Limited, Full, Full. Probable.
DE Demarcus Dobbs (back): Not listed, DNP, Full. Probable.
OT Garry Gilliam (Rib): Not listed, Limited, Limited. Questionable.
LB Bruce Irvin (Rib): Not listed, DNP, Limited. Questionable.
RB Marshawn Lynch (not injury related): DNP, Full, Full. Probable.
LB Mike Morgan (hamstring): Out
CB Tharold Simon (toe): DNP, DNP, Limited. Questionable.
FB Will Tukuafu (foot): Limited, Full, Limited. Questionable.
LB Bobby Wagner (ankle): Limited, Full, Full. Probable.