- Associated Press - Friday, September 30, 2011

GREEN BAY, WIS. (AP) - The Green Bay Packers say running back Ryan Grant and right tackle Bryan Bulaga won’t play Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

The team ruled them out on Friday.

Bulaga suffered a sprain and bruise of his left knee in the first quarter of the Packers‘ 27-17 win at Chicago last weekend. Grant rushed for a season-high 92 yards against the Bears but bruised his kidney on a hit to his back.

“There’s a protocol you have to go through, and the staff does not feel that he’s ready to go,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “I’m sure Ryan would like to go, but he has not been released from the medical staff. The same thing with Bryan Bulaga.”

Grant had been splitting carries in the first three games with James Starks, who will make the start Sunday. Marshall Newhouse, a second-year player, will make his first pro start as the replacement for Bulaga.

After he missed nearly the entire Super Bowl-winning season for the Packers in 2010 because of an ankle injury in the opener, Grant didn’t take the news well Friday that he would miss another game.

“If it was my call, I’d play,” Grant said.

The fifth-year player said he has felt fine most of the week and hasn’t seen any blood in his urine, which he did after Sunday’s game before he was taken to a Chicago hospital.

“The soreness that I have, I don’t think it has anything to do with my kidney,” Grant said Friday. “It’s nothing that I wouldn’t think that I couldn’t play with. But at the end of the day, I’ve got to trust the doctors, and they’re telling me that it’s something that I should be cautious about, and if I’ve got to sit out, I’ve got to sit out.”

Grant expects to get the OK to play in the Oct. 9 game at Atlanta.

Bulaga is ahead of schedule in his recovery, McCarthy said. Newhouse played well last week and the coaching staff was optimistic the young player is ready for his starting debut.

“It’s a big opportunity,” McCarthy said. “He did a good job down there in Chicago. He needs to take that next step, clear this next hurdle.”

Newhouse will be the fifth Green Bay player to line up at right tackle beside Josh Sitton since the talented right guard broke into the starting lineup toward the end of his rookie season in 2008.

Sitton has no reservations about Newhouse’s ability to handle the first-time assignment.

Marshall is a smart kid, knows what he’s doing out there,” Sitton said. “It’s kind of a seamless transition. He’s smart, so it’s not like I’ve got to freakin’ baby him.”

Notes: LB Clay Matthews said Friday he’s not concerned he has only one sack after three games. The All-Pro had six sacks at the same point last season and finished with a career-high 17, including the playoffs. “Sacks are a very misleading statistic,” Matthews said. “I’m doing my job, which is to put pressure on the quarterback. There’s no doubt about that.” Matthews, who has a nagging quadriceps injury, didn’t practice Friday but is probable for Sunday. … CBs Charles Woodson (foot/knee) and Tramon Williams (shoulder), TE Jermichael Finley (ankle), LT Chad Clifton (knee) and DE Ryan Pickett (foot) are also listed as probable for Sunday’s game.

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