There has been some uncertainty the past couple of weeks over David Bakhtiari’s status for the rest of the season. The Green Bay Packers‘ All-Pro left tackle is returning from a torn ACL, but head coach Matt LaFleur refused to go into details about why he hadn’t been practicing.
Bakhtiari had initially been practicing after being activated from the PUP list, but didn’t practice at all last week.
Now, we know why. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo, Bakhtiari had clean-up arthroscopic surgery on his knee, delaying his return to action.
However, the good news is that Pelissero notes there is “optimism he’ll be back for the stretch run”. Let’s be honest, getting Bakhtiari back sooner would be good news but the Packers need him for the playoffs. It would take a disaster for Green Bay not to reach the postseason from this point. Having Bakhtiari now would certainly help down the stretch, but it’s in January where they need him most.
Bakhtiari’s absence was felt in the NFC title game loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last January. It’s good that the Packers are doing all they can to ensure their All-Pro is fully healthy before he returns. The last thing they want is to rush him back only for Bakhtiari to re-injure his knee.
Of course, with Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins out for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL, the Packers would absolutely love to have Bakhtiari back in the mix sooner rather than later.
For now, backup Yosh Nijman will take over at left tackle. He held up just fine earlier in the season when Jenkins missed time with injury. He’ll face a tough test up against a strong Los Angeles Rams defensive line on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
Bakhtiari’s return might be delayed, but hopefully he’ll be back in December.