Originally written December 19, 2011 on Fox Sports Wisconsin:
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- As Packers starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga stood on the sideline in full pads throughout the second half Sunday, it seemed likely that the injury he suffered wasn't too serious. But on Monday, coach Mike McCarthy revealed that Bulaga has a knee cap sprain and will be "challenged to play this week." When asked what exactly a knee cap sprain was and how it would affect Bulaga's recovery time, McCarthy said, "That's a good question" without expanding further. This injury for Bulaga is to his left knee, the same one that he injured earlier this season and missed two games with. When Bulaga left Sunday's game in Kansas City, he was replaced at right tackle by first-round pick Derek Sherrod. However, Sherrod suffered a broken leg later in the game and will miss the rest of the season. McCarthy said that Sherrod had successful surgery performed in Kansas City on Sunday night. The one bit of potential good news that McCarthy received Monday was that veteran Chad Clifton could practice as soon as Wednesday. Clifton began the season as the starting left tackle before suffering a hamstring injury in Week 5. "That's the goal (and) we think he's reached that point," McCarthy said, then literally knocking on the wood of his podium. Although Clifton initially injured his hamstring, he hurt his back during the rehab process and it's that injury that has kept him out for more than two months. "You're never going to really know about the hamstring until he gets out there," McCarthy said. "I feel very confident about the hamstring relevant to the time frame that's been sufficient for that to heal. I would say it's more the back that would be the last hurdle." Due to all of the injures of the group protecting Aaron Rodgers, the Packers had to finish the game against the Chiefs with a switch in positioning of offensive linemen as starting left guard T.J. Lang went to right tackle and Evan Dietrich-Smith entering at left guard. Marshall Newhouse stayed at left tackle, the spot he took over since Clifton's injury. It will likely be that lineup that finished the game starting against Chicago -- from left to right: Newhouse, Dietrich-Smith, Scott Wells, Josh Sitton, Lang. "I would think it's safe to say that," McCarthy said to confirm. "That's the way we talked about it this morning. We'll see how Bryan (Bulaga) responds. It's always hard to hold him back. He's of the nature to try and come back as soon as he can. As we plan tonight and tomorrow, that's the way we're planning based on who's healthy." Follow Paul Imig on Twitter
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