Former Hawkeye Bryan Bulaga could make Packers return
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Bryan Bulaga wasn't quite ready to say he will be back in uniform and on the field Sunday for the Green Bay Packers.
"I'm not saying I'm definitely playing," the veteran right tackle said Friday. "We've got to still evaluate things that go into tomorrow."
Bulaga is listed as questionable for Green Bay's NFC North road matchup against the Detroit Lions.
Bulaga suffered a significant knee injury in the Packers' season-opening loss at Seattle and didn't play in their big comeback win over the New York Jets last Sunday.
As he did last week, Bulaga practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and Thursday this week. He looked to be moving around better with a protective brace on his injured left knee.
"From last week to this week, it feels a lot better," Bulaga said. "Mobility wise, strength wise, everything has just progressed really well."
The Packers didn't practice Friday, but coach Mike McCarthy seemed to be encouraged about the status of Bulaga, who said the pain in his knee has subsided considerably in the past week.
But McCarthy said Bulaga would have to get through the team's entire workout Saturday to have a chance to play against the Lions.
"That's the only hurdle left," McCarthy said.
Former first-round draft pick Derek Sherrod made his first NFL start as Bulaga's replacement against the Jets.
"I definitely think he took a huge step from Week 1 to Week 2," said McCarthy, referring to how Sherrod bounced back from some pass-protection struggles he had in relief of the injured Bulaga against the Seahawks.
"He had a lot work this week, too, because Bryan (had) limited, limited reps," McCarthy added. "He's getting better. I feel good about Derek, the direction he's going."
But getting Bulaga back in game action this weekend could be a boost for a Packers offensive line that was hit by injuries in the preseason and has been depending on a rookie center at the start of the season.