Packers 2017 Recap: RT Bryan Bulaga
Right tackle Bryan Bulaga played the finest season of his career in 2016. Paired with left tackle David Bakhtiari, the Packers entered the 2017 season with perhaps the best tackles in the league.
Both Bakhtiari and Bulaga struggled to stay healthy in 2017, and the pair started just one game together. Unfortunately, that game was the season changing game against the Minnesota Vikings where Aaron Rodgers would suffer a broken collarbone.
When he was healthy this season, Bulaga played up to his standard as a high quality right tackle.
- Appeared and started in 5 games
Expectations going into the season: Moderate
Expectations were: Met
What we said after last season
Packers 2016 Recap: RT Bryan Bulaga – Participating in all 16 games for the first time in his career, Bulaga was nearly good locking down pass rushers on the right side as David Bakhtiari was on the left; he was the fourth ranked pass protector in the league, according to Pro Football Focus.
Analysis: Injuries cut Bryan Bulaga’s season short
Bryan Bulaga suffered an ankle injury before the Packers’ third preseason game. The injury gave head coach Mike McCarthy and offensive line coach James Campen a dress rehearsal for what was to come in the regular season.
The high ankle sprain bothered Bulaga enough that the injury kept the right tackle out of the team’s first two regular season games, too. It appeared as if he had a chance to play in Week 2’s primetime tilt against the Atlanta Falcons, but he came down with the flu.
When he returned in Week 3, he re-injured his ankle in the fourth quarter. Green Bay’s next game was a mere four days later on Thursday night, and the decision was made to hold Bulaga out because of the quick turnaround.
Things evened out for Bulaga on the injury front until disaster struck in Week 9. On Monday Night Football in front of a home crowd against division rival Detroit, Bulaga tore the ACL in his right knee:
"(He was) really coming off his best year, and it really started with that high ankle sprain in training camp. As we know, those things can roll together, and I think that's really a (factor in) his knee injury," McCarthy said. "But hey, Bryan had the surgery and was in here the next day. He unfortunately knows what it takes to come back, and he's already full bore ahead working at it."
Because the injury occured so late in the season, an expedited nine month recovery timetable keeps Bulaga out of most of training camp.