In his rookie season of 2010, Bryan Bulaga worked out as a left tackle. He was injured last Saturday night playing the position and now the Packers must figure out a way to fill his shoes. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Packers left tackle: Is it time to panic?


The fix was in – Bryan Bulaga was going to save the day for the Green Bay Packers at the left tackle position and things were moving along just fine. The Packers first team offense looked pretty good against the Packers second team defense as they matriculated the ball down the field in last Saturday’s Family Night scrimmage.

The experiment that was the flip-flopping of Bulaga and former right guard Josh Sitton to the left side seemed to be way ahead of schedule.

That was until last night when the news broke that the Packers were fearing the worst when they heard from trainers that Bulaga had injured his knee. Though it hasn’t been officially announced, sources are saying that Bulaga tore his ACL. That’s a season-ending injury for the oft-injured lineman.

In 12 years as a Packer, former tackle Chad Clifton lost 27 games to injury; in four years with the Packers, if Bulaga sits out all of 2013 he will have lost 27 games due to injury.

That’s not a very good track record, but something the Packers have to look beyond at this point.

It’s certainly not time to panic and if there’s anything good that comes out of the situation, it’s that the Packers are still early in the process.

No matter how the Packers proceed – whether they move Marshall Newhouse back to the left side, try David Bakhtiari at the position, bring in a free agent or come up with some other solution, there’s plenty of time to make the adjustment. It’s better it happened now instead of closer to the start of the regular season or during the regular season.

So, no it’s not time to panic. It’s time to take action and make the best of a bad situation. If there’s any coaching staff in all the NFL that knows a thing or two about injuries, it’s the Packers staff. They will figure out how best to proceed and move on.

The unfortunate thing is that Bulaga, a promising player who had a huge upside, has had this befall him. Will he be able to come back from this downturn and recover? Time will tell.

In the meantime, it’s full speed ahead for the Packers.

Stay tuned …

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