Green Bay Packers tackle Gilbert Pena, left, works against guard Josh Sitton during training camp practice Tuesday at Ray Nitschke Field. / H. Marc Larson/Press-Gazette Media
Although the chances would appear to be slim, there was at least some hope on Tuesday that Green Bay Packers left tackle Bryan Bulaga could still play this season despite sustaining a torn anterior cruciate ligament during the Packers’ Family Night scrimmage on Saturday.
“Bryan is still hopeful to potentially give it a go,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “We clearly understand all the options with the initial medical opinion. So nothing’s been finalized.
“If you had a chance to see Bryan, and maybe you will so in the locker room, he doesn’t even look like he’s injured. No decision on Bryan has been made.”
Bulaga did not appear during the 30 minutes the media was allowed to be in the locker room.
If Bulaga were to play with the injury, he wouldn’t be the first NFL player to do so. He wouldn’t even be the first offensive lineman.
New England Patriots guard Logan Mankins tore his right ACL in a season-opener against the Miami Dolphins in 2011. He played in all 16 games during the regular season and throughout the Patriots’ run to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the New York Giants. Along the way, he also tore the medial collateral ligament in his left knee.
While there is hope Bulaga could do the same thing, not everybody thinks it’s a smart idea to even consider the move.
“If he does try to go? I would think he’s stupid,” Packers left guard Josh Sitton said. “He’s got a career to worry about. It’s not just about this year when you have something like that, so it would be dumb.
But to go however many plays he went with it, whatever it is, he’s a tough son of a (gun).”
Sitton will be expected to help lead the line in Bulaga’s absence.
“We have a lot of guys who have been around here for awhile,” said offensive lineman Don Barclay, who is entering his second season. “We are just sticking together and moving on.
“The word isn’t 100 percent and we are still waiting on some stuff, but the fact that it happened is horrible. He’s a great guy and a great player. He wants to be great, and it’s always sad to see something like that happen to someone.”