GREEN BAY—Bryan Bulaga said on Friday his knee feels “a lot better” than it did a week ago at this time, but the Packers’ starting right tackle isn’t sure he’ll be returning to the lineup on Sunday in Detroit.
Bulaga is officially listed as questionable on the injury report due to the knee injury he sustained in Week 1 in Seattle. He missed last week’s game against the Jets, with Derek Sherrod starting in his place.
“From last week to this week, it feels a lot better,” Bulaga said. “Mobility-wise, strength-wise, everything has progressed really well. The pain has died down on it tremendously.”
Head Coach Mike McCarthy said the decision would come down to how Bulaga fares in Saturday’s practice before the team boards the plane for Detroit. That was the same approach taken last week after limited reps in practice, but after Saturday’s workout, Bulaga said “it just didn’t feel right.”
Given all the injuries he has been through in recent years – missing the second half of 2012 with a hip injury and then all of last season with a torn ACL – Bulaga is thankful this was not a serious issue. He added that he obviously wants to play but isn’t going to take any undue chances with his health.
“You don’t want to be a liability out there,” he said. “You have responsibilities out there for the guy next to you and the guy behind you. I wouldn’t put myself out there if I didn’t feel like I was ready to go.”
If Sherrod gets the call again, it would be his second career start. McCarthy said he saw a lot of improvement in Sherrod from the Seattle game to last week’s start against New York. As with the Jets, the strength of the Lions’ defense lies in the front seven and the way the defensive linemen work to control the line of scrimmage.
“Going into the game (off the bench) in Seattle is a bigger challenge than preparing the whole week and playing,” McCarthy said. “I thought he took a huge step from Week 1 to Week 2. I feel good about Derek and the direction he’s going.”
Elsewhere on the injury report, cornerback Casey Hayward (glute) is questionable after playing only sparingly last week and being limited in practice.
Inside linebacker Brad Jones (quad) will miss his second straight game and Jamari Lattimore will start in his place again. Outside linebacker Andy Mulumba (knee) is out and McCarthy said earlier this week he’s been lost for the season, which would signal a pending move to injured reserve.
Defensive back Micah Hyde (knee) is probable after returning to full participation in practice on Thursday. Hyde took a shot to the kneecap while returning a punt last Sunday but has recovered quickly, to no one’s surprise.
“Just knowing Micah’s personality, he’s the type you’re going to have to cut his arm off to keep him off the field,” McCarthy said. “I had confidence he’d be ready.”
ADDITIONAL COVERAGE - SEPT. 19