Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC North [Print without images]

Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Ryan Grant, Bryan Bulaga unlikely to start

By Kevin Seifert

It appears quite possible that the Green Bay Packers will be without two starters on offense Sunday against the Denver Broncos. Tailback Ryan Grant (kidney) and right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) will be "pressed to make this game," coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday.

It's been expected that Bulaga could miss a few weeks after spraining and bruising his knee in Sunday's 27-17 victory over the Chicago Bears. But Grant had downplayed his injury, which occurred in the fourth quarter after a breakthrough 92-yard performance, and seemed confident that it wouldn't cost him any game time.

"What happens a lot of times is players are trying to get ready to play," McCarthy said, "and they're of the opinion that they're ready to go on Sunday. Our medical staff is not of the same opinion."

No decision will be made before the end of the week, but McCarthy didn't sound optimistic about either player's chances while speaking to Wisconsin reporters. The exact nature of Grant's injury hasn't been revealed, but you would have to think that doctors would be overly cautious about clearing anyone with a kidney injury.

Unless something dramatic happens, James Starks would start his first game of the season and rookie Alex Green would serve as his backup. Starks was essentially the Packers' primary runner through the first two weeks of the season, but he managed only 5 yards on 11 carries and lost a fumble against the Bears.

Second-year player Marshall Newhouse replaced Bulaga last Sunday and will start against the Broncos unless Bulaga makes an exceedingly fast recovery.