The father of Crystal Lake native and Packers left tackle Bryan Bulaga confirmed Monday that the team fears his son tore his ACL during a weekend scrimmage and could be lost for the season.
But Joe Bulaga said the family is seeking a second opinion from renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews. Joe Bulaga said MRI results were sent to Andrews over the weekend for his evaluation.
"We're waiting to see what he has to say," Joe Bulaga said. "Bryan said it feels good and he was able to finish the drills [after the injury]. Right now we're just sitting and waiting."
Bulaga complained of some knee soreness after the practice in the locker room and received treatment on the knee Sunday, which was an off day for the Packers. Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported late Sunday Bulaga had torn a ligament and early Monday multiple sources began reporting it is an ACL tear, which could end Bulaga's 2013 season.
Losing Bulaga for any significant period of time is a serious blow to the Packers' 2013 hopes as the former Marian Central and University of Iowa standout is the best offensive lineman on the team. The Packers were spending this preseason reshaping their line around a move of Bulaga from right to left tackle.
Bulaga went down for the year last year at right tackle with a hip injury and was replaced by undrafted rookie free agent Don Barclay. Barclay is not thought to be an option at left tackle and has been working at guard and center in training camp.
Marshall Newhouse had been moved to right tackle in a flip with Bulaga intended to strengthen the Packers' line because of his poor play on the left. But moving him back to the left side appears to be the Packers' best option for now. Fourth round pick, David Bakhtiari is listed behind Bulaga on the depth chart, but the Packers are not ready to trust Aaron Rodgers' blind side to an untested rookie.
While the Packers will remain the preseason favorites in the NFC North, Bulaga may be the offensive player they can least afford to lose other than Rodgers. The Bears, Vikings and Lions all move significantly closer to the Pack without its left tackle.