The Packers were the latest Super Bowl contender to suffer a major injury blow when Green Bay lost starting left tackle Bryan Bulaga for the season due to a torn ACL. Now, after an offseason of offensive line shuffling, the Packers will have to make another move in order to protect Aaron Rodgers' blind side.
While losing Bulaga is going to hurt, Green Bay does have a couple of options to replace him. Here's a closer look at where the Packers may go from here.
Option No. 1: Move Marshall Newhouse back to LT
Newhouse, who is currently slotted to start at right tackle, started the last two seasons at left tackle. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy swapped Newhouse and Bulaga this offseason, but Newhouse could potentially move back to the left side in wake of the injury.
He has extensive experience on the left side, including 29 starts at left tackle, although he may be better suited for right tackle. According to Pro Football Focus, Newhouse allowed 18 sacks over the last two seasons, including nine in 2011 when his minus-31.1 PFF grade was the lowest of the 76 tackles graded. Newhouse was considerably better last season, especially in pass blocking, but still allowed a staggering 37 quarterback hurries.
He's also spent the entire offseason working solely at right tackle, making a switch back to the left side more complicated.
Option No. 2: Start David Bakhtiari at LT
When the Packers drafted Bakhtiari in the fourth round, they probably didn't think they would rely on him to start from Week 1 as a rookie. Bakhtiari has been impressive in the early stages of training camp, but asking him to step in and start as a rookie left tackle is vastly different than training camp practice.
According to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bakhtiari has more than held his own in practice, including beating Clay Matthews in some early one-on-one pass protection drills. Acme Packing Company also came away impressed by Bakhtiari during Green Bay's scrimmage on Saturday.
If Green Bay wanted to take some of the pressure off Bakhtiari, the Packers could shift Newhouse to left tackle and insert Bakhtiari into the starting lineup on the right side.
Option No. 3: Sign a free agent
Starting left tackles don't exactly grow on trees, so it isn't a surprise to find there aren't many decent free agents available this late in the offseason. Jared Gaither has shown flashes of brilliance during his career, but was released by San Diego in March despite it costing the Chargers a $6 million cap hit. Former Packers left tackle Chad Clifton remains a free agent after not playing last season. Frank Omiyale spent last season in Seattle and has some experience starting at left tackle.
Green Bay could potentially get an internal boost from Derek Sherrod, but the 2011 first-round pick remains on the physically unable to perform list. He played minimally as a rookie before suffering a broken leg late in the season. The injury caused him to miss the entire 2012 season.