Back to drawing board for Packers offensive line
As it pertains to the offensive line of the Green Bay Packers, it's 'back to the drawing board.' After missing 9 games in the 2012 season due to a hip injury, Packers left tackle Bryan Bulaga reportedly tore his ACL during the Packers family night scrimmage Saturday night.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was the first to report the potential issue. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com was the first to confirm, through a league source, the ACL was torn.
Regardless of the severity, the Packers will need to act quickly to re-evaluate the offensive line that had undergone a rather dramatic change during OTA's. Bulaga was moved from right tackle to left tackle as the staff sought an upgrade from Marshall Newhouse. Josh Sitton, who played right guard in 2012, was moved to left guard during OTA's in order to play next to Bulaga. TJ Lang moved from left guard to right guard, and Newhouse was inserted into competition for the starting right tackle position.
Not only must the Packers find a new left tackle to replace Bulaga, but they will also need to consider switching Lang and Sitton back to their 2012 guard positions.
Below are a few options the Packers have at left tackle:
Marshall Newhouse: By left tackle standards, Newhouse is very average. Durable? Yes...but average. He showed little improvement from 2011 to 2012. He's more a finesse blocker than a mauler. There's a reason the Packers shifted Newhouse to the right side - it's because they wanted a better player to protect Aaron Rodgers' blindside.
David Bakhtiari: A rookie 4th round pick from Colorado. Bakhtiari has been practicing as the number 2 left tackle behind Bulaga, and the number 3 right tackle behind Newhouse and Don Barclay. Bakhtiari stands a little over 6'4" and weights 304 and has handled himself very well in practice. Aaron Rodgers said Bakhtiari "has all the tools".
Derek Sherrod: Sherrod broke his tibia and fibula in 2011, and returned to light practicing last November. Mike McCarthy is encouraged by his recent progress, but let's face it - the Packers have no idea what they have in Sherrod.
Aaron Rodgers was sacked a league-high 51 times last season. Sure, not all of the sacks were the fault of the line, but that number is high enough to indicate the line certainly had it's fair share of issues. With Bulaga reportedly lost for the season, the re-shuffled o-line will need to be shuffled again.