The man charged with protecting Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' blind side this season, left tackle Bryan Bulaga, has been lost for the season with a knee injury. For now, rookie David Bakhtiari will attempt to fill Bulaga's shoes.
Here are some of Rodgers' comments about the situation on Wednesday in the locker room:
On Bulaga's injury: "Yeah, itís tough, heís had a great camp. Been doing a great job at left tackle for us. Itís tough. Heís a good friend and been a great player for us, solid contributor and a good locker room guy."
On Bakhtiari starting at left tackle: "Heís young, heís raw, doesnít have the experience, but I think he has the confidence in himself. Heís very well-coached, he had good fundamentals. Itís not easy playing left tackle in the NFL, especially when you have a right-handed quarterback."
On putting a rookie in such a key role: "Weíve done it before, Bryan was a rookie playing tackle for us before. Left tackle is obviously a little different, especially when you think about the guys that can get put on that side. Look at our division, some of the early games, thereís usually a tough guy at that position rushing on my backside against every team so the best rusher, and you need a lineman who can hold up, obviously we believe in David."
Rodgers also gave his reaction to the Packers signing Vince Young as a potential backup quarterback.
"I think any time you can add talent to the locker room itís a good thing," Rodgers said. "There will be some more competition in the quarterback room for B.J. and Graham. Vince has played a lot of football, heís been around for a long time and had success. Itíll be tough to learn our offense in a short amount of time and try and produce on the field, but heís played a lot of football and heís been around a while."
On the importance of a backup QB providing an extra set of eyes, Rodgers said:
"Itís important. Iíve always felt like when I was a backup I wanted to try and find a way to contribute to what the guys were doing on the field. I know our backups here in the past have felt the same way, whether itís seeing something that they tell me when I come off on the sideline after a series or maybe a reminder that we talked about that slipped my mind or I needed to hear at a certain time, so itís important having those guys clued into whatís going on in the game, and it helps having guys who have been around and have the experience."