Addition of veteran tackle raises question about Bryan Bulaga’s timeline

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The Packers gave themselves some cover yesterday, when they signed a functional starting-caliber right tackle.

Which makes it reasonable to wonder whether they’re convinced their incumbent right tackle is going to be ready to start the season.

Via Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press Gazette, yesterday’s signing of former Panthers-Titans-Cowboys lineman Byron Bell could be a sign of some concern about Bulaga’s timeline.

The veteran tackle tore his ACL in November, and if they don’t think he’s going to be ready for the start of the regular season, the physically unable to perform list could be a possibility.

Bulaga’s roster spot was considered tenuous at varying points in the offseason, after he refused a pay cut. But the Packers insisted that he was part of the plan.

They also have Jason Spriggs, Kyle Murphy and Adam Pankey as options, but bringing in a guy with Bell’s experience (74 starts), could suggest some concern about Bulaga’s status. Spriggs (dislocated left kneecap) and Murphy (foot surgery) are coming back from significant injuries of their own, though they worked at OTAs.

The Packers created the roster spot for Bell by releasing undrafted rookie lineman Jacob Alsadek.

17 responses to “Addition of veteran tackle raises question about Bryan Bulaga’s timeline

  1. I’d be shocked if he didn’t land on PUP

    .. I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s played his last down based on the story around the draft about taking a paycut.

  2. ACL is one year from surgery at best. For a larger person that pushes off like Oline does, possibly longer then a year. Doubt Bulaga will make an appearance if he makes an appearance until the end of the season

  3. Green Bay missed poorly when they traded up in the 2nd round to draft Spriggs necessitating the Bell move and the continued reliance on Bulaga.

    They were looking for another Tackle going into the draft, so the move to sign Bell wasn’t surprising.
    The time afforded to Bryan in his recovery hasn’t been nearly long enough and I fully expect him to start the season on the PUP list.
    Though he could end up a cap casualty, I expect Gute to err on the side of caution.

  4. Bell is insurance. Bulaga still has to be quite a ways from lining up and playing and the two young guys are both coming off injuries as well.

    No details on this contract but I’d bet it is probably a 1 or 2 year deal where GB can cut him and not blow much in cap space.

  5. Other than health, I don’t get the knocks on this guy. I guess it’s a big “if”, but if healthy, Bulaga is good. He has consistently been rated in the top 10 of RTs. For example, last year he graded out in the top 10, while McRary was 19, Spriggs 46, and this new Bell guy ranked even lower. I don’t know what the rush is to dump Bulaga unless his knee is trashed.

  6. Green Bay missed poorly when they traded up in the 2nd round to draft Spriggs necessitating the Bell move and the continued reliance on Bulaga.

    That’s the logical conclusion at this point. They were clearly relying on him to start, by this year at the very least.

    .. but he was playing fairly well at the end of the year.

    … and I’d have to say we’ve seen worse, Mike Wahle immediately coming to mind. He was a trainwreck, but eventually rounded into a Pro Bowl-caliber player.

  7. “Holy cow Green Bay’s OL is as big a mess at it’s CBs.

    With one of the best Ieft tackles in the NFL, one of the best RTs in the NFL (maybe starting a little late this year), a quality center, a quality LG and a guy ready to step up into the RG spot (Justin McCray played well last year in spot duty), there’s really no issue. All they needed was some depth at tackle and they got it with Bell and 3 guys returning from injury (Bulaga/Spriggs/Murphy). And they have some young G/C guys they like too.

    Are you. jealous? Does your team not have a quality offensive line?

  8. .. Marshall Newhouse and Allen Barbre were turnstiles as well.

    Rodgers has been saddled with some pretty bad lines in his career.

    Seattles line is probably regarded as the worst in football… Wilson has been sacked 8% of his snaps. Rodgers isn’t that far behind – 6.9%

  9. This doesn’t raise any questions. Anyone who follows the team knows that Bulaga was more than likely have to start the season on the PUP. This was a signing because everyone behind Bulaga is also injured or not someone you want protecting #12.

  10. Mike McCarthy on Bulaga:

    “All the feedback I have been given is positive. He is going through his rehab program. But just talking to Dr.(Patrick) McKenzie he feels Bryan is right on course to be available for the season”

    That comes from the most conservative doctor in the league when it comes to injuries.

    I take the docs words over the trolls here everytime👍

    The Bell signing was great for depth. We will get a chance in the pre-season to see if he is a player. Gutekunst out here making this team stronger and many on this site trying to spin it negative✋

    Bryan is 29 and yes has dealt with some
    injuries, but has also proven he can come back strong and dominate when out there.

  11. Jason Springs is talented and athletic, but raw, and has a problem staying healthy.
    He still has potential. This was a smart move.

  12. Bulaga with one ACL is worth three healthy Byron Bells.

    Hopefully GB gives him adequate time to recover because if Bell is forced to play anything more than in spot starts, Rodgers is not going to stay upright, and unfortunately their running backs aren’t good enough to make up for the poor blocking that Bell exhibited in both Carolina and Tennessee. Bulaga has been an at worst solid lineman and at best top tackle for his career, and given the changes in the organization, his familiarity with Rodgers’ play style is a big plus too.

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