In an attempt to shore up protection for Aaron Rodgers, the Packers decided to shift Bryan Bulaga from right tackle to left tackle this offseason. But the experiment might be in jeopardy before it even really begins as the Packers reportedly fear "the worst" after Bulaga injured his knee Saturday.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Sunday that Bulaga hurt his knee during an intra-squad scrimmage on Saturday, although he was "walking afterward and seen in the middle of the team's huddle after the scrimmage."
McGinn cited sources who say the Packers are "hoping for the best while fearing the worst" when it comes to Bulaga's injury, which the team reportedly believes might be a season-ending torn ligament.
On Sunday following McGinn's report, Pro FootballTalk's Mike Florio reported that Bulaga's injury is indeed a torn ACL. And NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said on Monday morning that "the Packers do believe Bulaga has torn his ACL."
That's a disaster. It's made strange, though, by the fact that Bulaga apparently didn't miss a single snap with the first-team offense despite suffering the injury and was even working on some special-teams plays later in the practice.
That doesn't sound like a guy who suffered a season-ending knee injury does it?
Still, the trickle-down effect of a bad Bulaga injury would be pretty nightmarish. Marshall Newhouse would slot back into the left tackle slot, where he played last year. David Bakhtiari, a fourth-round rookie, could pop into the right tackle spot. (Or Newhouse could stay where he is, with Bakhtiari moving in to protect Rodgers blind side.)
Newhouse played the left side in 2012 and Rodgers was just fine, thanks -- "12" is pretty good at making due with a less-than-perfect offensive line, even if Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang don't get the credit they deserve as one of the best guard combos in the league.
He and the Packers will make do with whatever they've got regardless of how long Bulaga ends up missing. But acting like a season-ending injury for a starting left tackle in training camp wouldn't hurt just because the quarterback's talented is being a bit naive.