Packers add Bulaga to injury report with a knee issue
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.”
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.