this July 28, 2014, file photo, Green Bay Packers’ Aaron
Rodgers and Bryan Bulaga (75) walk on the field for NFL
football training camp in Green Bay, Wis. A little lost in
the hand-wringing over the loss of center J.C. Tretter is
the return of right tackle Bryan Bulaga to the Packers to
help solidfy the edges on the offensive line.
GREEN BAY —
Josh Sitton doesn't know if his friend and Green Bay Packers
offensive line mate Bryan Bulaga will be able to play through a
knee injury he suffered in the season opener. But he thinks that
Bulaga is going to try.
"He seems to
be very positive about the way his knee feels, so he's going to
fight to play," Sitton, the Packers Pro Bowl left guard, said
Monday. "We'll see what happens."
Bulaga made his
first regular-season start in 669 days when he started at right
tackle in the Packers' 36-16 loss to the defending Super
Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks.
Bulaga suffered a
season-ending hip injury on Nov. 4, 2012 and missed all of last
season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left
knee during a training-camp scrimmage.
So when he
injured his left knee again on Thursday night, Bulaga was
understandably shaken. The good news: Packers coach Mike McCarthy
said Bulaga escaped a "major injury." Is there a chance
Bulaga could play Sunday against the New York Jets? Maybe.
injury hasn't been released. Bulaga was not in the Packers' locker
room during the media availability period Monday evening. Injured
center JC Tretter came into the locker room and retrieved
something from Bulaga's locker for him.
Asked if Bulaga
intends to play through the injury, Sitton replied, "Yeah,
absolutely. We'll see. It's only Monday. So Wednesday we'll be
able to tell more and then as the week goes on we'll be able to
The next man up
if Bulaga cannot go is Derek Sherrod, the team's 2011 first-round
draft pick. Sherrod, who missed all of the 2012 season and nearly
all of the 2013 season after suffering a career-threatening leg
injury late in his rookie season, struggled against the Seahawks,
allowing two sacks and two quarterback pressures in just 42 snaps.
thought Sherrod didn't play poorly overall, but his mistakes were
significant: He gave up one sack to Cliff Avril on a critical
fourth-and-5 play from Seattle's 41-yard line midway through the
third quarter, and then another to Michael Bennett that resulted
in a sack/fumble that Sherrod recovered in the end zone for a
safety. Sherrod was also pushed into quarterback Aaron Rodgers on
a failed two-point conversion later in the game.
line, if you play offensive tackle in the NFL, you're going to
have to win your 1-on-1 match-up," offensive coordinator Tom
Clements said. "Derek will see the film and we anticipate
he'll do well."
Sitton said he
thought Sherrod "played well, with the exception of a couple
plays" against the Seahawks.
him, it's mental," Sitton said. "He's missed a lot of
football the last couple years. I don't know exactly what he's got
to do to get that confidence back, but I think it starts on the
practice field and if he can get that confidence he'll be
For his part,
Sherrod said he would focus on what he did right against the
Seahawks instead of what he did wrong.
got to go out there and execute our plays a little bit better and
come through," Sherrod said. "Everybody's going to have
good plays, everybody's going to have bad plays, but if you focus
on the negative, it's obviously going to affect you in the long
run and you won't be as productive as you have to be."