BBAO: Sprain for Bryan Bulaga

We're Black and Blue All Over:

The Green Bay Packers appear to have avoided the worst-case scenario with right tackle Bryan Bulaga. Although his initial reaction suggested the knee injury was significant, Bulaga has been diagnosed with a sprain and a bruise but does not appear to have any fully torn ligaments, notes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Unless that diagnosis changes in the coming days, Bulaga won't miss the season but might not be ready to return for a few weeks. Marshall Newhouse will continue to take Bulaga's spot until that time, coach Mike McCarthy said. Rookie first-round draft pick Derek Sherrod, who spent much of training camp working at left guard, is behind Newhouse on the depth chart. Newhouse was a fifth-round draft choice in 2010.

Said McCarthy: "Marshall's a little bit ahead of Derek in the experience category, and that's why Marshall has this opportunity."

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • The Packers are hoping that safety Charlie Peprah will settle in after a rough initial start in place of Nick Collins, writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

  • Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com breaks down the "play that didn't count."

  • Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that the career of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is "being held hostage" by general manager Jerry Angelo. Hayes: "While most teams build their teams around their franchise quarterback, Angelo has hoped Cutler could elevate mediocre offensive talent while he tries to reload a defense undermined by years of poor drafts. Meanwhile, Cutler doesn't have the protection, scheme or weapons to match his rival, the Packers' Aaron Rodgers."

  • The Bears' defense didn't match up well against the Packers' offense Sunday, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.

  • Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com: "The Chicago Bears' offense would be in much better shape if more players were as prepared and disciplined as undrafted rookie free agent receiver Dane Sanzenbacher."

  • Could the Detroit Lions get defensive tackle Nick Fairley into Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys? The Detroit Free Press takes a look based on information from ESPN's Adam Schefter.

  • The Lions know they need to improve their running game, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.

  • Tight end Brandon Pettigrew's 11 catches last Sunday essentially served as the Lions' running game, notes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.

  • Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin played 74.5 percent of the Vikings' snaps Sunday against the Lions, notes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com, and might have had more had he not fallen ill on the sideline.

  • The Vikings are the only people stopping tailback Adrian Peterson, writes Mark Craig of the Star Tribune.

  • After three consecutive second-half meltdowns, the Vikings have some psychological work to do, notes Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Defensive end Brian Robison: "It's something that now we have to get it mentally out of our head that the second half has not been very well for us. I think any time when it happens three weeks in a row it is [in our heads]."