GREEN BAY, Wis. — Jared Veldheer was as surprised as you.
The Green Bay Packers backup tackle was relaxing Sunday morning, watching pregame coverage of the early playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans, when the news broke. That flu bug inside the Packers locker room had reached right tackle Bryan Bulaga. Veldheer, who’d had a similar virus, figured he might have a busier night than expected.
So he hopped in his car and drove to Lambeau Field.
“That thing is awful,” Veldheer said. “I know what it’s like on that thing. Like, he can’t function. So I got it through my head pretty quick that I had to be ready for this ballgame.”
After spending the entire week on scout team, with Bulaga taking the reps with the Packers’ starting offensive line, Veldheer went from playing no snaps to playing all of them in a split second. He was on the field for every play in the Packers’ 28-23 win against the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC divisional playoff round Sunday, a victory that propelled them to the NFC championship game next Sunday.
Bulaga was active, but his availability was only in case of emergency — or a miraculous recovery. Left tackle David…