GREEN BAY — Packers RT Bryan Bulaga is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game in Tampa due to the concussion he sustained last week in Buffalo. Bulaga hasn’t yet gained full medical clearance to return to full contact, but that remains a possibility by game time.
“As we say in here all the time, you’re either part of the (concussion) protocol or you’re out of the protocol,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s still in it and he’s making progress.”
After McCarthy’s Friday press conference, Bulaga spoke briefly with reporters in the locker room and sounded optimistic about his chances.
“I think we’re on a good track right now,” he said. “We’ll see what comes about tomorrow and go from there. I think I still need to go through a few more steps in testing, and seeing the independent neurologist check we have to do.”
Ideally, he’d like to be able to practice on Saturday morning before the team boards its flight to Tampa.
“For me personally, I love to practice,” Bulaga said. “To me, it’s something I think I need throughout the week, just for repetition and timing and fundamental work. If I can get (out there) tomorrow, I’d love it, get all cleared and do that tomorrow.”
Bulaga is the only member of the starting offensive line to miss a game this season, and he only missed one (Week 2 vs. N.Y. Jets). The Packers have had the same starting five up front for the last 12 consecutive games.
If Bulaga can’t play, he’ll be replaced by second-year lineman JC Tretter, who took over for Bulaga in the fourth quarter last week for the Packers’ final two offensive series. He allowed the pressure on the outside by Bills DE Mario Williams that led to the fumble by QB Aaron Rodgers on Green Bay’s final offensive play, but Tretter’s teammates have insisted all week that one play shouldn’t overshadow the job he did coming off the bench at a new position.
“He put together some very good plays, and there are some things we look for him to improve on,” McCarthy said.
Tretter began taking practice snaps at right tackle among other positions on the line at midseason after coming off injured reserve with a designation to return. He had injured his knee late in training camp, all of which he spent preparing to start at center. This week, Tretter has been taking most of the reps at right tackle with Bulaga unable to practice.
“This is exactly what he needs,” McCarthy said. “It was good to see him play against Buffalo.
“JC is a heck of a football player. He showed that by what he accomplished in the spring all the way through training camp, establishing himself as the starting center. To come off his injury be able to play guard, center and tackle speaks volumes.”
CB Davon House has been ruled out for the second straight week due to his shoulder injury. “We’ll see how next week goes,” McCarthy said.
Everyone else on the Packers’ injury report is listed as probable and expected to play.
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