Bulaga’s Health Will be the Key to the Packers Success in 2018

Green Bay Packers

Protecting the Franchise Should be the Packers Primary Focus

There has been a lot of optimism surrounding the Packers chances to be serious playoff contenders heading into the 2018 season.  NFL Network analyst and former super bowl championship winning Packers receiver, James Jones drastically predicted that the Packers would go 16-0 this season. Although that is quite the eternally optimistic, light-hearted, tongue and cheek prediction, many prognosticators still believe that the Packers will be a playoff team this January.

In order for these predictions to become a reality, the Packers will need to figure out the right side of their offensive line in order to keep Aaron Rodgers upright and on the field for the entire season.  The left side of the line is in mint condition being lead by David Bahktiari and Lane Taylor, with Corey Linsley holding down the fort up the middle at the center position.  The right side of the line is a completely different story altogether that is filled with many question marks.

A lot of these question marks could be answered if Brian Bulaga is ready to go by week 1.  Bulaga’s rehab has not been talked about a great deal which leads me to believe that there is still a chance that we could see him on opening day.  Bulaga is now eight months removed from his ACL injury which means that we should be hearing something soon regarding his rehab and prognosis.

If his chances to start the season are not dashed in the first week of training camp then the outlook will probably be more hopeful that he will be ready for the start of the season.  If this is, in fact, the case, the Packers offense will be ready to fire on all cylinders in week 1 against the Bears as they will have two quality tackles to go along with a dependable left guard and center and could start either Justin McCray or Lucas Patrick at right guard.

However, if Bulaga starts the regular season on the physically unable to perform list, the Packers could be forced to fill the right side of the line by committee which could hamper their offense for the first half of the season.  The Packers would in all likelihood start the season with a rotation of (RG) Justin McCray, (RT) Kyle Murphy, and Lucas Patrick (Sub at either position).  If any of these three players were injured or were not productive, the Packers could give Jason Spriggs another shot to earn a spot in the rotation before turning to Byron Bell, Kofi Amichia, or Cole Madison.

No matter which of these rotational combinations that you favor,  it cannot be disputed that the success of the Packers offense and the health of Aaron Rodgers depends on whether Brian Bulaga can start for the Packers on week 1.  If Bulaga is forced to sit out for a prolonged amount of time it will alter what Aaron Rodgers can do in the passing game both in the pocket and on the run.

When healthy, Brian Bulaga’s presence is clearly felt on the field because the Packers have continuously stood by him throughout the many injuries that he has suffered throughout the course of his career.  This trust in Bulaga was again displayed this offseason when the Packers decided not to release him while rehabbing from his torn ACL.  Clearly, the Packers believe that Bulaga will return this season and help the offense flourish by keeping Aaron Rodgers upright in the pocket and on the field for all 16 games.

David Michalski is a recent college graduate from Princeton New Jersey who has been a life long Green Bay Packers fan. Like the great Vince Lombardi, he values God, family, and the Green Bay Packers in that order. You can follow him on twitter at @kilbas27dave



3 thoughts on “Bulaga’s Health Will be the Key to the Packers Success in 2018

  1. I like Beluga, but unfortunately he will not be dependable anymore. Like Capers, the Pack kept him too long.

  2. Like Jack Reacher, I think you have to hope for the best but plan for the worst. Best case is Bulaga is healthy enough to start by the opener and stays healthy and plays well all season.

    Worst case is that doesn’t happen. So I think the real question isn’t about Bulaga, it’s about the guy behind Bulaga, and the guy behind him. That’s what happened last year.

    This is similar to the QB situation: Was our poor season last year a result of losing Rodgers, or was it from not getting good play from his replacement?

    Here would be my plan: Have a different starting RT. Let Bulaga be on PUP or whatever, because adding a healthy Bulaga during the season is great……he can back up both tackle spots.

    The more immediate question is Who Is Our Guy at Right Tackle?
    I like Bell to start the season because he’s the only candidate who has actually proven he can line up at right tackle in the NFL and do the job. I like Cole Madison, too.

    I’ve read that Spriggs is heavier and stronger and ready. I’d say if he can’t beat out Bell and Madison then that’s not a good sign. Murphy? I don’t see him as a starting NFL tackle.

    So the way I’d handicap it is that Spriggs will start and Bell will be the backup When Bulaga is activated, we could be pretty solid at tackle. I think Madison makes the 53 man squad. Murphy is probably safe until they need to make room for Bulaga.

  3. I think Bulaga is a good RT, but certainly not much above average. If he’s healthy and can play, fine, but I think there’s others on the roster that can play just as well and have a much better chance of staying healthy during the season.

    IMO, there’s several players on the Packers roster who’s health is much more important to the success of the team than Bulaga.

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