If you’ve been living under a rock, you may have missed your Green Bay Packers left entry David Bakhtiari hasn’t played a full game yet since rupturing his ACL on New Year’s Eve in 2020. After three surgeries, hopefully it will finally be through in the season. 2022, he could return as a team finalist, a position in which he won five All-Pro Awards from 2016-2020.
There was optimism that Bakhtiari could have played in the first week, as he was listed as a limited participant in Wednesday and Thursday practices last week, but he was suspended from practice entirely on Friday before the Packers’ season-opening loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Although he was officially listed as a restricted on the team’s injury report, he took the team’s reps with the team last week.
On Wednesday, Bakhtiari returned to training with the team, raising questions about his place in rehab. On Thursday, head coach Matt Lafleur was asked about Bakhtiari and how he viewed his return to training, and LaFleur responded: “He’s been practicing well.”
When asked about Bakhtiari’s schedule, Lafleur posted some news by saying: “[Bakhtiari] He won’t train, even when he’s back in full… Three days in a row. It’s going to be a day, a day off, and another day.” Bakhtiari was suspended from practice on Thursday, as he looks likely to miss the week two game against the Chicago Bears in the Packers’ home opener. Last Sunday, when word broke that Bakhtiari would not play In the first week, a Green Bay Press-GazetteRyan Wood reports that expectations were that Bakhtiari would not play against the Bearsalso.
The question now is how serious is the long-term view of my choice in Green Bay if he can’t practice days in a row? Will Bakhtiari Ever Be able to handle three consecutive practices? If he can’t, what does this say about the team’s ability to count on him to be the left-handed franchisee? Will this be a problem for 2022 only? There is still a lot to sort out here.
Next season, Bakhtiari’s contract holds $29.1 million, and $23.1 million if released, meaning the team will only save about $6 million in cover space by moving on from him. He’s set to receive a $9.5 million standing bonus on day three of the league’s 2023 year, so they’ll have to make a decision on his status very early in the off-season.
When asked if Bakhtiari could handle games without a full week of training, LaFleur said: “There aren’t a lot of people who would probably have a schedule like that, but I think and believe, as an organisation, he’s one of those people.” Bakhtiari was replaced on the left-hand side by Elgton Jenkins, who like Bakhtiari also missed the first week’s action. When Jenkins fell to a ruptured ACL in 2021, he was replaced by Josch Nijmann, who started the left tackle with Green Bay in the first week of this season. The expectation is that when Jenkins is healthy he will play the right tackle, with two stars playing the left tackle if Bakhtiari is still unable to go.
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