Green Bay Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga is lost for the season with a hip injury. He is the seventh player the Packers have been forced to place on injured reserve and could potentially be the most costly.
Bulaga suffered the injury in Green Bay’s 31-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 4 when he pulled up on a play in which there was no contact. The fact that no other player was involved in the injury has to frustrate Bulaga and the Packers.
FOX commentator Troy Aikman thought Bulaga suffered a hyperextended knee considering the way the right tackle was seen limping around after the play. Replays showed the 23-year-old’s leg extend awkwardly and it is no wonder why an experience NFL player would initially assume it was a hyperextension. However, Green Bay’s medical staff quickly determined it was indeed Bulaga’s hip that was the root of the problem.
Bulaga has been a huge asset for the Packers since he was selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He busted onto the scene and played like a veteran after Mark Tauscher went down with an injury that eventually ended his career. Bulaga struggled at times throughout the 2010 season but overall was phenomenal down the stretch and in the playoffs as Green Bay went on to win Super Bowl XLV.
Guard T.J. Lang will take over for Bulaga at right tackle, while the underrated Evan Dietrich-Smith will start at left guard. Lang has plenty of experience at the tackle position and played great against Arizona after Bulaga exited the game. Dietrich-Smith also looked good at left guard against the Cardinals.
It is certainly disappointing to lose someone of Bulaga’s caliber in a year the Packers are dropping players like flies. However, it is comforting to know the team is able to replace him with a certain ease, as long as no more offensive lineman go down.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.