Pack­ers add Bu­laga to in­jury re­port with a knee is­sue

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - Uw Gameday - Jim Owczarski

GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Pack­ers listed 11 play­ers on their ini­tial in­jury re­port of the week Thurs­day, and all of those play­ers — in­clud­ing quar­ter­back Aaron Rodgers (knee) and tight end Jimmy Gra­ham (knee) — prac­ticed to some de­gree Fri­day.

An ad­di­tion to the in­jury re­port, how­ever, was start­ing right tackle Bryan Bu­laga.

Bu­laga, who ex­ited the Wash­ing­ton game early with a back in­jury three weeks ago, popped up with a knee is­sue. He prac­ticed on a lim­ited ba­sis on Fri­day. The team did not dis­close which knee was both­er­ing the ninth-year pro, but he has had an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ments re­paired in both knees.

At the start of in­di­vid­ual drills, Ja­son Spriggs was on the field and he took right tackle reps in the open por­tion of prac­tice. But a Green Bay tele­vi­sion sta­tion re­ported that Spriggs had his right leg ex­am­ined by the Pack­ers’ train­ing staff and was carted off the prac­tice field. Spriggs was listed as a lim­ited par­tic­i­pant on the in­jury re­port with an an­kle in­jury.

On the team’s un­of­fi­cial depth chart posted Oct. 9, By­ron Bell is listed as the backup right tackle. But, Bell has been start­ing at right guard as Justin McCray con­tin­ues to re­ha­bil­i­tate his left shoul­der. On a pos­i­tive note, McCray prac­ticed fully Fri­day.

Un­drafted free-agent rookie Alex Light is listed as the team’s third-string left tackle. The 22-year-old has yet to be ac­tive this sea­son.

Coach Mike Mc­Carthy said start­ing wide re­ceivers Geron­imo Al­li­son (ham­string) and Ran­dall Cobb (ham­string) would once again work on the re­hab field. He said their par­tic­i­pa­tion in some team drills Thurs­day was sched­uled as part of their re­cov­ery process.

On Fri­day Cobb said his ham­string isn’t 100 per­cent, but a fi­nal de­ter­mi­na­tion about his sta­tus will come over the week­end.

Progress on of­fense

Rodgers cited “de­tails.” Da­vante Adams called for im­prove­ment of the “lit­tle things.”

Foot­work on a route. Com­pet­ing down­field on block­ing as­sign­ments. Pace in and out of the hud­dle, and to the line of scrim­mage. To date, the Pack­ers’ of­fense has been pedes­trian in terms of scor­ing (No. 18 in the league and No. 23 in red zone ef­fi­ciency) and has yet to top the 24 points it scored in the sec­ond half against Chicago back in Week 1 (re­call that seven points against Min­nesota came by way of a punt block).

“Not quite the stan­dard that we’ve set here over the years with the type of of­fense we think we can have and the type of of­fense we think we could have com­ing out of train­ing camp,” Rodgers said.

Key mem­bers of the Pack­ers’ of­fense read­ily ad­mit it’s not good enough pro­duc­tion. But they cite the abil­ity to move the ball (No. 10 in to­tal of­fense) and sec­ond-half scor­ing (72 points) as in­di­ca­tors that they can break out; they just need to dial in on the finer points of prepa­ra­tion.

“The re­al­ity is you can have a prac­tice that may not be as clean as you like and you go out and play the game of your life. Let’s not act like that hasn’t hap­pened,” Mc­Carthy said. “But you also can have the great­est week of prepa­ra­tion and not play your best game.

“It’s al­ways about the de­tails be­cause the com­pe­ti­tion in the Na­tional Foot­ball League is so tight, there’s very small mar­gin be­tween what a big play is and not a big play. And that’s what you have to stay af­ter.”

The Pack­ers have a good op­por­tu­nity for that this week, as they host the San Fran­cisco 49ers and their 29th-ranked scor­ing de­fense (29.2 points per game al­lowed).

“I told you guys Week 1 it’s go­ing to be a work in progress; I don’t think we’re far off,” Rodgers said. “We are very close to get­ting things go­ing and like I said then and I’ll say again now, I feel like if we can get off to a bet­ter start on of­fense, it makes the en­tire squad play with a dif­fer­ent type of con­fi­dence.”

Bree­land im­pres­sive

Bashaud Bree­land’s mind told him to run full speed. He was cov­er­ing an over route in prac­tice last week. When the re­ceiver broke across the mid­dle of the field, Bree­land chased.

But the vet­eran cor­ner­back was rusty af­ter sign­ing in Week 4. No train­ing camp and pre­sea­son. Not even or­ga­nized team ac­tiv­i­ties in the spring.

“My body wasn’t re­ally used to open­ing up like that,” Bree­land said. “So I kind of opened up be­fore my body wanted me to, and it kind of tweaked on me.”

Bree­land’s sprained ham­string de­layed his de­but with the Pack­ers. If not for the in­jury, Bree­land said the plan was for him to play in Detroit. He al­ready knows de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Mike Pet­tine’s play­book well enough to be trusted on the field, Bree­land said.

Bree­land was a lim­ited prac­tice par­tic­i­pant Thurs­day and Fri­day.

Pack­ers tackle Bryan Bu­laga has had an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ments re­paired in both knees.

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