Green Bay Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga wants to be on the field when the team returns to practice Wednesday, but coach Mike McCarthy said Friday it's too early to predict his chances.
Bulaga reportedly sprained his MCL in his left knee, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. It's the same knee that required surgery after Bulaga tore his ACL during Family Night in August 2012.
McCarthy did not specify Bulaga's injury Friday, but the coach said "
"Right now we've got a little bit of a gap between how Bryan feels and how the medical department feels about it, which is normal," McCarthy said. "I think really Wednesday's practice will probably give us a better indication. I know Bryan would like to try to go on Wednesday, but we've got to see how his knee reacts between now and then.
"Once again, it's not a major injury. We're relieved by that. I really don't have a timeline."
Bulaga left in the second quarter after colliding with Packers rookie tight end Richard Rodgers. He missed 23 consecutive regular-season games before the Packers' opener Thursday night, a 36-16 loss against the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks.
A sprained MCL generally requires two to four weeks to recover, depending on the severity of the sprain. The injury does not require surgery, unlike a more serious ACL tear.
Bulaga missed all 16 games last season with the ACL injury. He missed the final seven games of the 2012 season after fracturing his hip Nov. 4, 2012 against the Arizona Cardinals. On Thursday, Bulaga only played 20 snaps before leaving the game.
While speaking with Press-Gazette Media from the locker room, Packers right guard T.J. Lang said Bulaga was upbeat. Still, the sight of Bulaga injured after yet another comeback was disheartening.
"It's tough. He's a guy who's had some bad luck here in the last couple years," Lang said. "Obviously, a great friend of mine. Watching him lay on the ground is never easy to watch. Talking with him after the game, I think he felt confident he won't be missing too much time. He's a guy who obviously plays a huge part for us up front, and we need him."
Backup tackle Derek Sherrod played 42 snaps in Bulaga's absence and struggled. Sherrod allowed four quarterback pressures on 29 pass block opportunities, and a fifth was wiped out because of a Seattle penalty, according to Pro Football Focus. One of the two sacks he allowed resulted in a safety.
If Bulaga is unable to play against the New York Jets in two weekends, McCarthy said Sherrod will start at right tackle.
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