The Green Bay Packers have had awful injury luck this season, losing a number of their most important players.
The Packers’ top two defensive players, Jaire Alexander and Za’Darius Smith, are on injured reserve. The team has also been without their two best offensive linemen in recent weeks.
However, there’s potential good news on the way. Many of the Packers’ injured stars could make their return in the next few weeks, potentially as early as this week against the Chicago Bears.
Let’s take a closer look.
It was a surprise when starting center Josh Myers was ruled out last week due to a finger injury.
Myers has been excellent despite having to replace an All-Pro center in Corey Linsley. Lucas Patrick held up well in Myers’ absence, but the second-round pick could be set to return this week.
Myers was a full participant at Wednesday’s practice, an encouraging sign. Against a strong Bears defensive line, getting Myers back would be great news.
Yosh Nijman has held up well at left tackle in recent weeks, but there’s no doubt the Packers’ offense is far better off when Elgton Jenkins is available, no matter which position he plays.
Jenkins hasn’t played since Week 2, missing the Packers’ past three games.
However, there is some encouraging news. Jenkins was a limited participant at practice on Wednesday. Last Wednesday, he was held out of practice.
Even if the Pro Bowler isn’t quite ready to return this week, it looks like a return is getting nearer for the talented offensive lineman.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling isn’t eligible to return this week, but he could be back in Week 7.
According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, MVS was “running pretty hard under the eye of rehab coordinator Nate Weir” ahead of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals last week. That’s potentially a good indication that Valdes-Scantling is close to being ready.
MVS stretches defenses and his return will be huge for the Packers’ offense.
The biggest return of all could be just around the corner. All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari is eligible to return in Week 7. That doesn’t mean he will be back that soon. The Packers will likely be cautious.
However, it shouldn’t be too long before Bakhtiari is back in at left tackle for the Packers. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted that “it will be a process to get him ready to play again, but Bakhtiari has a plan”.
Green Bay’s offensive line has held up well this season and the team is 4-1. At some point in the near future, the best tackle in football will be back.