GREEN BAY—Bryan Bulaga’s hip injury might not require surgery, but it has ended the tackle’s season with the Packers heading into a punishing seven-game finishing stretch of schedule.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy referred to Bulaga’s injury as “a significant hip injury. A lot of conversation about the time line. His long-term health is at the forefront of these decisions,” McCarthy added.
Bulaga was injured in the Packers’ win over Arizona in their final game before last week’s bye. The team announced this morning that Bulaga had been assigned to the injured reserve list and was replaced on the roster by linebacker Vic So’oto, who had been released recently by Oakland.
“You can’t deny what’s on the scan,” McCarthy said of Bulaga’s injury. “This is in his best interest. We feel confident in his future.”
Bulaga’s condition will be reevaluated in four weeks. McCarthy said it’s hoped the injury will heal without requiring surgery.
Left guard T.J. Lang moved to right tackle in replacing Bulaga in the game against Arizona, and Evan Dietrich-Smith replaced Lang at left guard. That would likely hold true this Sunday in Detroit, when the Packers play the Lions in the first of five NFC North games in the final two months of the season.
“With a full week of work, he’ll be ready to go,” McCarthy said of Lang. “T.J. won’t keep us out of anything. We have a lot of confidence in T.J.”
“We’re at seven,” McCarthy said of offensive linemen on the active roster. “We’ll see how Derek (Sherrod) responds. His three-week window begins today.”
Actually, Sherrod’s three-week window for being moved from the physically unable to perform list to the active roster began last week, but this is his first week of practice. The Packers have two weeks to observe Sherrod in practice before determining whether to move him to the active roster or effectively assign him to injured reserve for the remainder of the season. Sherrod has been on PUP since the start of training camp, the result of having sustained a fractured leg in Kansas City late last season.
McCarthy said he would offer more information on other injured players on Wednesday, when teams issue their first practice reports of the week. At issue will be the availability this Sunday of star linebacker Clay Matthews, who left the Arizona game with a hamstring injury.
“We’ll get into that on Wednesday. We’re going to get into some tougher rehab today,” McCarthy said.
The Packers also assigned rookie outside linebacker Nick Perry to injured reserve last week, after the decision had been made that Perry would undergo wrist surgery.
“Nick Perry’s wrist is obviously a more severe injury than first anticipated. We went with the second opinion and felt this was the best with him,” McCarthy said.
The Packers coach added that the additions of So’oto and Frank Zombo give the Packers adequate depth at outside linebacker. Additional coverage - Nov. 12