GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers are not going to know right tackle Bryan Bulaga’s status until at least Friday but it doesn't look promising that he will play Sunday against Atlanta.
Bulaga was sent home for a second straight day due to illness and will not be able to test his injured ankle, which caused him to miss the season opener against Seattle.
“Bryan Bulaga was actually in here this morning,” coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday. “They sent him home again. He has an illness, flu-type symptoms. So, we care about Bryan, but we don’t want to get the other guys sick. So, we sent him home.”
The Packers’ only practice in pads is Thursday, so Bulaga will miss a key day of preparation.
But even if his ankle turns out to be ready, the flu bug could sideline him.
“I don't really have a feel for Bryan because we haven’t worked him since I think Tuesday, or Monday, on his ankle,” McCarthy said. “So we’ve got to hopefully see where he is tomorrow and, but just speaking with Bryan this morning when he came in, you know, he was dehydrated and things like that.
“So, we’ll just take the week.”
Kyle Murphy would start again for Bulaga, but there are other issues on the line as well.
The same three players sat out practice Thursday: Bulaga, linebacker Ahmad Brooks (concussion) and tackle Jason Spriggs (hamstring). Defensive tackle Mike Daniels wore a wrap on his hand but it was for protection purposes and he isn't expected to wear it Sunday.
Here are some of McCarthy’s remarks from his Thursday news conference:
(On overall concern with the offensive line) “If you watched practice yesterday our defense really practiced extremely well, flew all over the place, really felt good about the practice coming off the field, particularly even watching the video. But offense, we were sluggish all the way through. So, we need to practice better today and I think some of it’s just a reflection of Week 1, playing 80-plus plays. We’ve just got to work through it.”
(Was the offensive line taxed the most in the Seattle game?) “Well, they’ll never admit it. But there’s no substitution there. But, I tell you, and I talked about this a little bit in the team meeting today, as a head coach you’re into scheduling how practice looks, the length of it, reps. And what’s refreshing with the GPS technology for however many years we’ve been involved in it, now you have it on game day, it really confirms a lot of your opinions and the direction that you go with it. To sit on there and go through that player by player Monday night with (strength coach) Mark Lovat, it’s really impressive to see the workload that these men put out in the course of one game. Whether it’s the short area, the long distance, just confirms that the fact that the training and everything leading up to it each and every week is so critical.”
(Does it matter to you if the roof in the Falcons' new stadium is open Sunday?) “I don’t think so. It’s a new environment either way. It’s important for our players to get out on the field early, make sure their shoes are right, check out the lighting. If it’s open or closed, it’s going to be the first time for us. We’ve just got to get out there and make sure we catch a lot of footballs and move around and make sure we’re ready.”
(How important is running back Ty Montgomery’s versatility?) “It’s unique to have a receiver now playing halfback. I always like to think that we’ve used a lot of those formations and schemes, whether it was Randall Cobb doing those assignments. I’ve been blessed. I’ve had some really good running backs that I was blessed and fortunate enough to coach over the years when I go back through the history. I would think, if you look at the skill set, you’d like to do that a bunch.”