GREEN BAY -- Starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga returned to the team facility on Friday after spending the previous two days home with an illness, and the Packers' medical staff is in the process of checking out his injured ankle to see about his availability for Sunday night's game in Atlanta.

"Bryan Bulaga is back at work," McCarthy said on Friday morning, during a brief press conference that was interrupted by a fire alarm. "We haven’t had a chance to work with him yet. We’ll get him on the field internally and see where he is. He's feeling better."

McCarthy added that Bulaga has been able to keep up with all the game-plan studying while he's been home, and regarding Sunday night, the ankle is a bigger question mark than the illness at this point.

Starting left tackle David Bakhtiari is also on the injury report with a hamstring injury and has been limited in practice the past two days. Backup Jason Spriggs is out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury, which leaves second-year pro Kyle Murphy and undrafted rookie Adam Pankey, signed from the practice squad earlier this week, as the reinforcements should Bulaga and/or Bakhtiari be sidelined.

As practices have transitioned to the regular season, McCarthy emphasized that the Packers are continuing to develop their younger players, even if they might not be on the 46-man roster on game day. That includes everyone on the 53-man roster plus 10-player practice squad.

They're given the game plan to study and are given the appropriate practice reps just in case, because there's no way to know when they might be needed at the last minute.

"You have to develop your younger players all the time," McCarthy said. "You may go down to Atlanta and someone gets sick in the hotel. If they’re part of the 63, you have to make sure they get ready to play."