Five Packers to watch vs. Giants in Week 13 matchup
By Jesse Fry
5. Right tackle
In a bit of a surprise, Bryan Bulaga returned to practice on Thursday in a limited role. That doesn’t mean he’s going to play this weekend, but it is a good sign on the seriousness of the injury. The fact he was able to return to practice this soon proves the injury isn’t severe and he should be back to or as close to 100 percent as possible soon.
The question the Packers will face is should the team save Bulaga from himself and sit him regardless this weekend?
The Packers’ offensive line has faced as tough a schedule as you can in the NFL this season. From the 49ers, Chargers, Vikings, Bears, and Eagles, the Packers have faced a plethora of All-Pro level pass rushers.
This Giants team doesn’t have them. That’s not to say the Packers can expect to just throw anyone out there and think they’ll automatically win their matchups. That would be far from reasonable. Whoever lines up at right tackle needs to play their best. But, outside of Markus Golden, the Giants don’t have much to speak of as far as pass rushers go.
If the Packers want to go far in the playoffs and not just reach them, they will need a healthy Bulaga ready to do battle with the likes of the Vikings, Bears and possibly the 49ers again. Sitting him this week might be the best option.
If they do, whether it be Alex Light or moving Billy Turner over form guard, they can expect to be the focus of the Giants’ pass-rush attack. They will have to open holes in the run game and keep Rodgers upright. They must be ready.
On paper, this should be a get-right game. But the Packers cannot and should not expect anything less than the best shot New York has to offer. They know they will have a top-10 pick in the draft and where that falls shouldn’t matter as much to them. They have their quarterback of the future and holes throughout the roster. Regardless of where they pick, they can focus on taking the best player available. That means the Giants are not tanking and looking for reasons to believe for next season.
Taking down a team that seems destined for the playoffs would be a great feather to put in their cap. Green Bay must not look past its next two opponents and use this time to get hot before facing a tough three-game stretch of division foes.