GREEN BAY – Bryan Bulaga exited early in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against Dallas with a back injury, but the Packers are encouraged that their starting right tackle could be available Thursday night against the Chicago Bears.
Bulaga was one of 11 players the Packers listed as non-participants on Monday’s injury report. Participation is based on estimation since Green Bay didn’t practice Monday.
However, Bulaga said at his locker on Monday afternoon that he already feels better than he did after the game.
“Progressing I’d say. I think that’s the best way to put it,” Bulaga said. “Definitely feels better than it did yesterday, I’ll put it that way. Hopefully (Tuesday) it’ll progress and feel better.”
Bulaga said he took a knee or helmet to his back during Sunday’s game against the Cowboys. It appeared he might have taken a shot to his back from Dallas linebacker Sean Lee while attempting to recover a fumble near the Cowboys’ goal line at the end of the third quarter.
Bulaga played on the Packers’ next offensive series but was replaced by rookie second-round pick Jason Spriggs midway through the fourth quarter.
The offensive line has been a bright spot for the Packers in the first five games with everyone in the starting five having played in each game so far this season.
Comparatively, the Packers had their preferred starting line make only eight of 18 starts together in 2015.
Bulaga wasn’t making any predictions about his availability for the game against Chicago other than to say he’s taking it day-by-day and looking to make progress over the next three days.
“It’s definitely different. I’ve never really had a back issue,” Bulaga said. “Just listen to what doc has to say and deal with it, do the treatments, try to take care of it and see how it feels. That’s really all I can say.”
Receiver Randall Cobb was listed on Monday’s report with a back injury, but he reiterated it’s the same issue he’s been dealing with since taking a shot to the back in the final minutes against the New York Giants in Week 5.
Cornerback Quinten Rollins (groin) and running back James Starks (knee surgery) are both unlikely to play against the Bears.
New opportunities: Ty Montgomery’s workload expanded in a big way with 144 all-purpose yards against the Cowboys.
The second-year receiver caught 10 of 12 targets for 98 yards on 35 offensive snaps split between receiver and lining up in the backfield.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Montgomery has been attending running back meetings to help build his acumen for the position.
While the in-game work helps, Montgomery added that he’s had two pretty good running backs to work with in Eddie Lacy and Starks.
“There’s a lot that comes from experience but we have some good running backs in the room,” Montgomery said. “I can learn from them, watch what they do, see what they’ve done, pick their brains a little bit about how they read things.”
The Packers may need to tap into Montgomery’s versatility again against the Bears with Lacy hobbled by an ankle injury, Starks likely out and receiver Davante Adams in the concussion protocol.
“I feel like I can do anything that’s asked of me,” Montgomery said. “God would never place anything more than what I can handle. If it’s asked of me, I’m going to find a way to get it done.”