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Rob DemovskyESPN Staff WriterClose
- Covered Packers for Green Bay Press-Gazette from 1997-2013
- Two-time Wisconsin Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association
GREEN BAY, Wis. — When Matt LaFleur said the Green Bay Packers will “look at everything” to find a fill-in for injured right tackle Bryan Bulaga, he wasn’t kidding.
The Packers added another veteran to that spot on Wednesday when they claimed retired veteran Jared Veldheer off waivers from the New England Patriots.
The 32-year-old never played for the Patriots after he signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with them this offseason. Instead, he retired during the offseason program.
The Patriots released him from the reserve/retired list this week, which made him subject to waivers.
A source said there was immediate interest from multiple teams, including a Packers NFC North rival, the Minnesota Vikings. But the Vikings did not put a claim on him because they would’ve been higher in the pecking order than the Packers.
The Packers lost Bulaga to a right knee injury early in Sunday’s blowout loss at the 49ers.
Although the injury is not a season ender, he’s expected to miss at least this week’s game at the Giants. The Packers replaced him against the 49ers with Alex Light, a former undrafted free agent, but when asked Wednesday if veteran right guard Billy Turner is an option to move to right tackle, LaFleur said: “We’ll look at everything. Our goal is just to put our best five out there and we’ll go from there. And we’ll take the week to figure that out.”
“I think that’s why we brought Billy in because he gives us some versatility,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said on having options at right tackle. “He played some right tackle in our training camp and the offseason program. I have a lot of confidence in Alex Light. He’s been a really nice, steady guy for us this year. Lucas Patrick is a guy you can fill in at multiple positions. He’s a very heady guy, smart, prepared and has played all three interior positions for us at various times during his career. I’m not sure about the old guy that we claimed – older guy. He’s in his 30s; I like to see another guy in his 30s here. Not sure what his status will be at all.”
Veldheer has been living in Grand Rapid