Packers: Bryan Bulaga availability would give offense huge boost

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 06: Anthony Zettel
GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 06: Anthony Zettel /

Mike McCarthy is surprisingly optimistic about Bryan Bulaga’s availability for the regular season opener, and it could be great news for the Green Bay Packers.

Bulaga is recovering from a torn ACL. As he got injured in November, it seemed a long shot he would be available Week 1 against the Chicago Bears.

But McCarthy is confident about Bulaga’s availability for the opening contest of the Packers‘ 100th season on September 9. He believes both Bulaga and Nick Perry, who begin training camp on the PUP list, will both be ready for the opener:

“I don’t think there’s any threat that they’ll be ready for the season,” McCarthy said, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.

Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel added that Bulaga believes he could return to practice in early August.

This would be excellent, and surprising news, for the Packers.

If Bulaga is fully healthy at the start of the season, it makes the offensive line much stronger. Bulaga, alongside All-Pro David Bakhtiari, form one of the league’s premier tackle pairings when healthy.

Should Bulaga miss time, it’s unclear who would fill in at right tackle.

Both Kyle Murphy and Jason Spriggs are also coming back from season-ending injuries, and neither player has shown that they are ready to start regularly just yet. The other option would be free agent signing Byron Bell, who offers some experience and much-needed depth along the line.

But, if McCarthy is correct, the Packers won’t need to worry about who will start in Bulaga’s place against the Bears. Barring any injuries to the other four starters, Green Bay could have its complete offensive line ready to go in the opener, and this would give the entire offense a boost.

If Bulaga is healthy, that leaves only one position of uncertainty along the line. With Bakhtiari at left tackle, Lane Taylor at left guard, Corey Linsley at center and Bulaga at right tackle, the only position with some doubt is right guard.

Next. Top 15 Packers to watch at training camp. dark

But Justin McCray‘s 2017 performance should give the team more than enough confidence that he is ready to take the job.

Training camp is young, but the Packers have (potentially) started with some great news.