We liked the Byron Bell signing, regardless. However, now it makes even more sense. It seems possible, maybe even likely, that right tackle Bryan Bulaga will not be ready for the regular season.
There is even talk he could start the season on the physically unable to perform list, which puts him out for at least the first six games. This from the Press-Gazette:
The Packers preferred starting right tackle is Bulaga, but he’s unlikely to be ready for the start of the season after tearing his right ACL last November. The Packers could place Bulaga on the physically unable to perform list if he’s not ready by September, delaying his inclusion on their 53-man roster until midseason.
Bell has started 74 games in his career. It looks like he’ll go into the current mix the Packers have rotating at right tackle. That group includes Kyle Murphy, Jason Spriggs and Adam Pankey.
Both Murphy and Spriggs are coming back from season-ending injuries, but have been participating during OTAs. Bulaga’s return is much further off.
Murphy has played well in limited action. Spriggs, a former second-round pick, has been disappointing. Pankey is a former undrafted free agent who has played in just one game.
Bell looks like insurance at the least and a starter at best.
There was talk that Bulaga wouldn’t be with the Packers in 2018, regardless. The team asked him to take a pay cut and he refused. Despite that, general manager Brian Gutekunst suggested Bulaga was still in the team’s plans for 2018.
The Packers also have a hole at right guard after not re-signing Jahri Evans, their starter there in 2017. The right side of the offensive line is going to be a story — and a competition — for the next few months.