Packers RT Bryan Bulaga: ‘If I Feel Good, I’m Going to Play’

Three weeks past knee surgery, Bryan Bulaga is happy about his progress but won't say he's going to play on Sunday. The outlook for Bulaga appears better than it does for Davante Adams and Morgan Burnett.

Green Bay Packers’ right tackle Bryan Bulaga wouldn’t say whether he’d play on Sunday, but that certainly sounded like his goal on Friday.

“I don’t like to miss any time,” said Bulaga, who missed the last three games with an injured left knee that required surgery. “Like I said Wednesday, if I feel good, I’m going to play. I don’t like to get on the fence with these things. I love playing next to these guys, I love playing for this team, I love playing for this offense. If I feel good enough to play, I’m going to play. There’s no such thing in my mind as, ‘It feels OK but I’m just going to wait this week.’ That doesn’t sit well with me. From growing up to now, if you’re OK to play, get out there and do it.”

The Packers listed him as questionable on their injury report. So were receiver Davante Adams and safety Morgan Burnett, though they were downgraded to doubtful for a second consecutive week. Cornerbacks Sam Shields (toe) and LaDarius Gunter (heel) were added on Saturday and listed as probable.

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Bulaga was injured at the Thursday practice lead up to the Week 2 game against Seattle. He returned to practice on Wednesday and did so again on Thursday. Those were big days. Thursday was a full-pads practice that provided a decent simulation for a game. He got through that practice with no issues and then “nothing really happened (Friday) that gave me any alarm.”

With all of that, it certainly seems like Bulaga will be back at right tackle for Sunday’s game against St. Louis. Bulaga, however, wouldn’t go that far. The next hurdle will be Saturday’s light practice.

“I’m not going to get in to Sunday right now because I’m worried about tomorrow and the work we do on the field tomorrow and how it responds to that,” he said. “I can’t really look to Sunday yet because, like I said, it’s very cliché, I get it, but it’s a day by day deal. That’s just kind of the way I’m taking it.”

With practices on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, is that enough to get ready for a regular-season game against an elite defensive line?

“Like anything with your veteran players, there's communication,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “There's trust there and Bryan knows what he needs to get ready. It's a big challenge with their defensive line, especially the matchup with particularly (Chris) Long. That's why you take the full week and make sure he's ready.”

Whether he’s ready for Sunday or next week, Bulaga is happy with the rapid progress after a reported timeline of four to six weeks.

“You got to set a goal. You just can't -- obviously you don't want to miss any time -- but there's things that are unrealistic, then there's things that are realistic,” he said. “Yeah, you set a goal, so you can work hard in rehab to reach something. Whether it’s this week or next week or whenever it is, I’m just happy with the way that the rehab’s gone and the way I’ve felt. Like I said, I never set a goal for what week I was going to come back. It was just whenever I feel ready, Doc feels ready and everything looks good on tape and I can move well without any pain and just go from there.”

Packers safety Sean Richardson was ruled out in what could be bad news for the young safety's career.

Packers Injury Report
Player (Injury): Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. STATUS
WR Davante Adams (ankle): DNP, DNP, DNP. Questionable.
RT Bryan Bulaga (knee): Limited, Limited, Limited. Questionable.
S Morgan Burnett (calf): DNP, DNP, DNP. Questionable.
WR Randall Cobb (shoulder): Limited, Limited, Limited. Probable.
OLB Jayrone Elliott (quad): Full, Full, Full. Probable.
CB Demetri Goodson (hamstring): Limited, Limited, Limited. Questionable.
WR James Jones (hamstring): Limited, Limited, Limited. Probable.
LB Clay Matthews (quad): Full, Limited, Limited, Full, Probable.
S Sean Richardson (neck): Not listed, Limited, DNP. Out.
ILB Jake Ryan (hamstring): DNP, DNP, DNP. Doubtful.
Note: The Packers did not practice on Friday. Their designations are estimations.

Rams Injury Report
Player (Injury): Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. STATUS
S Maurice Alexander (groin): DNP, DNP, DNP. Doutbful.
WR Kenny Britt (knee). Not listed, Not listed, DNP. Probable.
LB Alex Ogletree (ankle): DNP, DNP, DNP. Out.
DE Robert Quinn (not injury related): Not listed, Not listed, DNP. Probable.
RB Chase Reynolds (knee): Full, Full, Full, Probable.
DE Eugene Sims (knee): Full, Full, Full. Questionable.
Note: The Rams did not practice on Thursday. Their designations are estimations.

Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.


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