Head Coach Mike McCarthy announced what most everyone expected to hear, starting offensive left tackle Bryan Bulaga will indeed undergo reconstructive surgery after tearing his ACL last Saturday night in the Family Night scrimmage at Lambeau Field. Bulaga sought a second opinion and at least for a day, considered a return without the operation. McCarthy said the surgery will take place next week and the 4th year pro will be lost for the season. In 2012, Bulaga suffered a broken bone in his hip forcing him to miss the final seven regular season and two playoff games. He had been considered the primary player in the off-season decision to shuffle the entire offensive line, moving from right tackle to the all important, blind side protecting left tackle spot. Rookie David Bakhtiari is being asked to step in. The 4th round pick from Colorado has taken nearly every snap with the starting offensive line this week.
Aaron Rodgers held his weekly session with reporters today and talked of losing Bulaga and having a rookie protecting his back.
Today's medical report was a mixed bag. Rookie Eddie Lacy sat out practice with a tight hamstring but McCarthy didn't think it would be lingering. Randall Cobb was padded up but only ran on the side, recovering from a bruised biceps. After practice, Cobb didn't sound worried. Mike Neal came off the physically unable to perform list, passing his physical after straining his abdomen just before camp opened. Neal took part in several fundamental drills with the outside linebackers but McCarthy said Neal is considered a defensive end on my depth chart. Alex Green also returned after tweaking his knee over the weekend.
A lot of the drills were high energy, like this one where defensive linemen had to bash their way out a circle. When the team moved into the short side run drill, where just one half of the offensive line, quarterback and running back work against defensive linemen and linebackers, tempers began to flare. T.J. Lang ripped off the helmet of rookie Sam Barrington in the first scuffle. Garth Gerhart and Terrell Manning took jabs at each other, Greg Van Roten and Robert Francois went at it and finally, Jarvis Reed and Jermichael Finley boiled over. Both players actually took swings at each other's heads. Johnny Jolly piled onto to Finley to knock him off Reed and all hell broke loose. Over a dozen players joined the fray and it took a couple of minutes to get order restored. Afterwards, McCarthy said its the time of camp where the guys are tired of hitting each other, they're ready to play a game but admitted taking swings at helmeted teammates isn't the smartest thing in the world.
Starting to wonder if B.J. Coleman is feeling the Vince Young heat. Young began taking sporadic reps in 11 on 11 drills while Coleman just keeps throwing to the wrong side. He had two more interceptions today, one by Nick Perry over the middle and the other was thrown into double coverage, James Nixon tipped the ball to M.D. Jennings.
Another field goal contest today and both Mason Crosby and Giorio Tavecchio made three out of four kicks. Crosby was good from 36, 46 and 48 yards, missing from 50. Tavecchio kicked from the same distances and missed his 46 yarder.
McCarthy cut the practice short by one period saying we have a game in 48 hours. He'll re-evaluate whether or not to pad up again on Thursday. Practices before game days are usually in shells.