Packers lose right tackle Bryan Bulaga with knee injury; status reportedly week-to-week
SANTA CLARA - The Green Bay Packers went into halftime Sunday night trailing the San Francisco 49ers 23-0, in large part because of a struggling offense that mustered just 60 total yards.
What did not help that effort was the loss of starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who injured his right knee on the Packers' third possession of the first quarter.
The injury occurred away from the play, which was an Aaron Jones run to the left. Bulaga was engaged with a block when 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead fell into the back of Bulaga's right knee. The veteran tackle immediately left the field, was looked at in the medical tent briefly and then went right to the locker room.
He was quickly ruled out for the game. Alex Light replaced Bulaga at right tackle.
On Monday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network cited a source as saying Bulaga has an MCL injury and his status is week-to-week.
Bulaga, 30, had played in all 10 games for the Packers but did miss time against Philadelphia and Kansas City with injuries.
On Nov. 6, 2017, Bulaga tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, ending his season. He returned to begin the 2018 campaign.
Three tight ends the call
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur had a healthy roster to use in shaping his active 46 for Sunday night's game against the 49ers, and he elected to go with three tight ends with the return of Robert Tonyan to full health.
Rookie Jace Sternberger was made inactive.
Tonyan injured a hip Oct. 6 in Dallas and had not played since. For several weeks the second-year tight end would practice in some capacity midweek but ultimately could not get ready for Sunday. Coming off the bye, Tonyan practiced fully for the first time in over a month.
In five games, Tonyan has four catches for 66 yards.
Sternberger came off of injured reserve Nov. 2. The third-round pick out of Texas A&M missed most of training camp with a concussion and then injured an ankle in the preseason finale. He has played only on special teams in Los Angeles and then made his offensive debut against Carolina, playing 14 snaps. He was used primarily as a blocker, and did not see a target in the passing game.
Defensive back Will Redmond was made inactive for the first time this season, with second-year defensive back Josh Jackson being up. Redmond had played in the first 10 games for the Packers and started four games at safety.
The other inactive Packers players for the game were:
- Ka'dar Hollman, DB
- Ryan Grant, WR
- Dexter Williams, RB
- Adam Pankey, OL
Among the 49ers’ inactive players were running back Matt Breida, defensive end Dee Ford, offensive lineman Joe Staley and kicker Robbie Gould. Breida and Staley were listed out on Friday’s injury report, while Ford and Gould were doubtful. Tight end George Kittle and receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Deebo Samuel were active. They were listed as questionable on the injury report.
Madison faces long road back
The Packers went into Sunday night's game with 52 men on the roster because they officially placed first-year offensive lineman Cole Madison on season-ending injured reserve.
The backup interior lineman reportedly suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in a knee during Thursday's practice. A fifth-round pick out of Washington State in 2018, Madison missed that season to work on his mental health. He returned to the Packers this offseason. He had been a healthy scratch for all 10 regular-season games for which he was eligible.