GREEN FLIGHT, Wis. – Jared Veldheer is as surprised as you are.
The Green Bay Packers backup solution is relaxing on Sunday morning, following news of an early play-off match between Kansas City and Houston Texans leaders, when the news broke. It was the flu bug in the Packers locker room that hit Bryan Bulaga. Veldheer, who has a similar virus, thinks he could have a more busy night than expected.
So he jumped in the car and drove to Lambeau Field.
That is bad, Mr. Veldheer said. I know what it's like about that. Like, he can function. So I got it in my head pretty quickly that I have to be ready for this ball game.
After spending the entire week on the scouting team, with Bulaga taking on representatives with Packers' starting offensive line, Veldheer switched from playing no snaps to playing them all in an instant. He was on the field every time he played Packers' 28-23 victory over Seattle Seahawks in the NFC split play-off round on Sunday, a victory drove them to the NFC championship game next Sunday.
Bulaga is working, but his availability is only in an emergency – or miraculously restored. Left hand David Bakhtiari, who had a similar illness, saw Bulaga on Sunday morning. Immediately, Bakhtiari said, he knew his long-time teammate had the opportunity to play that night very fragile.
I liked it, ‘That man was going to be tough. I was (worried) he had what I had, because what I lasted…