GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The injury hits just keep on coming for the Green Bay Packers.
Wide receiver Jordy Nelson will miss the rest of training camp after undergoing a procedure on one of his knees. He joins a laundry list of Packers on the sideline, including left tackle Bryan Bulaga, who is expected to miss the season – despite his hope to the contrary – with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in one of his knees.
Yet coach Mike McCarthy wasn’t in woe-is-me mode Tuesday.
“These type of injuries, they’re part of the game. The game of football, especially pro football, stops for nobody,” McCarthy said. “You keep playing and if you ever stop and blink, you’re two steps behind your opponent.”
McCarthy said Bulaga, who played roughly 30 plays in Saturday night’s scrimmage, was injured on the seventh play, but no one seemed certain of just how he hurt himself.
“He doesn’t even look like he’s injured,” McCarthy said.
General manager Ted Thompson said he saw Bulaga come out of the pile after a play “kicking his leg” as if it was bothering him.
“Then (he) goes back to the huddle and plays great the rest of the night, which is the reason I still have hope,” Thompson said.
So does Bulaga, who has reportedly sought a second opinion from renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in hopes of somehow playing through the injury.
Rookie fourth-round pick David Bakhtiari worked at Bulaga’s left tackle spot in practice Tuesday and would start there in Friday night’s preseason opener against Arizona.
“We’re still waiting on a medical opinion that hasn’t come in yet. Bryan is still hopeful to potentially give it a go,” McCarthy said. “Nothing’s been finalized.”
Asked if he really thinks Bulaga could play through a torn ACL, McCarthy replied in part, “Everybody’s talking through, as we always do, what’s in the best interest of the player. Bryan fully understands what it would take for him to play this year. He’s looking at all his options.”
Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton, who played next to Bulaga on the right side from 2010 through 2012 before the team switched up their offensive line and moved both men to the left side this offseason, said he thinks it would be a mistake for Bulaga to try to play with the injury.
“If he does try to go? I would think he’s stupid,” Sitton said. “He’s got a career to worry about. It’s not just about this year when you have something like that, so it would be dumb.”
Having suffered a hip injury on Nov. 4 that ended his third NFL season, Bulaga had been ultra-committed during the offseason as he shifted from right tackle to left tackle.
“I feel terrible what happened to Bryan and no one knows how hard he’s prepared coming off of last year’s injury,” McCarthy said. “I can (count) on maybe one hand how many days he has left Lambeau Field. He worked out exclusively here in the offseason throughout the summer. So, to see him pour that much into it and able to see it, you feel bad for the person.”
As for Nelson, doctors expect the receiver to be ready in 4-6 weeks. The Packers open the season Sept. 8 at San Francisco.
“Fortunately with Jordy, his particular thing that we had (to) fix is something that we have some experience with with some other guys here,” Thompson said. “So, we think we can predict about the way it’ll go. But you never know.”
In addition to Nelson and Bulaga, wide receiver/returner Randall Cobb, the team’s leading receiver last year, dropped out of practice Tuesday with a biceps injury. No. 1 cornerback Tramon Williams has been sidelined for more than a week with a bone bruise in his knee, and cornerback Casey Hayward has yet to practice because of a hamstring injury. DuJuan Harris, the team’s starting running back at the end of last season, has yet to practice because of a knee injury.
In all, 16 players missed practice Tuesday, including wide receiver Sederrick Cunningham, who was placed on injured reserve to make room on the roster for quarterback Vince Young.
“Injuries are not explainable,” Thompson said. “They just happen.”