The Return of Bryan Bulaga
One of the Packers' most devastating injuries in 2013 came before the regular season even kicked off. During last year's Family Night scrimmage at Lambeau Field, left tackle Bryan Bulaga suffered an ACL tear in his left knee, making him unavailable for the entire 2013 campaign.
His injury pushed rookie David Bakhtiari into an unexpected starting role taking care of Aaron Rodgers' blind side. Even though he committed some rookie mistakes during the season, Bakhtiari proved to be capable of holding down the most important position on the offensive line.
Fast-forward to today. After almost a full year of recovery time, Bulaga is ready to hit the field again. But after a successful 2013, Bakhtiari caught the eye of head coach Mike McCarthy and offensive line coach James Campen, and will be keeping his spot on the left end, while Bulaga will move over to the right side. The transition should be a smooth one, since Bulaga has played 37 games at that position for Green Bay over his first three seasons.
Campen has had positive words about Bulaga's recovery, saying, “Bryan is one that can move on quickly from things that happened. He handles adversity very well, As soon as that kid is ready to go, he’s Bryan Bulaga, and he’ll be better than he was.”
Coming off his second, consecutive, season-ending injury, Bulaga must have a solid (and obviously healthy) season - not only for the team, but for himself. Following the 2014 season, Bulaga will be an unrestricted free agent, and could draw some hefty suitors if can prove himself worthy of a big payday. The former first round pick was listed as the fourth best tackle in 2011, and if he can summon his former self, it will mean good things for the Packers' offense and the health of his quarterback.