With the Green Bay Packers, at best, mediocre start to the current NFL season, can the team hope to climb out of dire circumstances with David Bakhtiari falling to a career-threatening injury?
That's the question on every Packers fan's mind right about now, and for very good reason. The left tackle has gone through a knee surgery a whopping four times in less than three years.
When asked about Bakhtiari's future, head coach Matt LaFleur was essentially a man of few words all of a sudden, deciding to not commit to a possible return for the left tackle anywhere in the near future.
"Yeah, I'll let Dave comment on that…I know he wanted to talk to you guys later on. I'll let him talk about his timeline," stated LaFleur.
It was in 2020, just after quite the hefty contract extension—a whopping $92 million—that Bakhtiari unfortunately injured his knee in practice. It would be since that injury that Bakhtiari would play in only 13 games.
And according to a report by ESPN's Rob Demovsky, the Packers were indeed accommodating to him, essentially not putting him through too much of a grueling schedule, so this injury most definitely comes as quite the surprise to some.
But again, in football, injuries are more common than it is for an apple to clock you on the head while walking through an orchard.
As we all know, things were going well with him out on the gridiron, which is what makes this so sad in the end.
The time is now for new Packers left tackle Rasheed Walker
The Packers are sitting at two wins and two losses, so obviously the other question being posed by anyone paying attention is: Is Rasheed Walker up to the task of replacing the injured man?
"From when I got here last year, got used to practicing like a pro," Walker said for himself. "Had a pretty tough offseason…pushing myself this offseason. Came into camp with a different mentality to dominate and try to be my best version of myself every day. And then try to make everything translate."
"It kind of threw me back to when we used to play Iowa when I was in college. With it being a dome, they had to have been pushing some type of crowd noise. It was loud as hell those first couple drives," he went on to say.
As it turns out, after just the Week 1 game against Chicago, Bakhtiari was already telling his backup to prepare to possibly start. Was this a wee bit of foreshadowing in the plot? Did Bakhtiari know that something was a tad amiss with his knee going in?
Walker would start the next three games. And now the injury to Bakhtiari settles him into that position either temporarily or indefinitely, but the head coach did have a warning in essence for the backup left tackle, stating that the "situation" in that area would be a competitive one, so Walker needs to keep up the performance.
Walker does have the support of QB, Jordan Love and overall that's always a positive.
"I think Rasheed's stepped up…Going into Year 2 for him, I think he's made a lot of big strides. He's been playing really well, stepping in for Dave being out. Like the whole team, the more reps we get, the more experience we get, the more situations like this where we get to learn and grow, it's going to be huge for everybody," said Love.
In the end, it all needs to be seen, and we still need to hear from Bakhtiari, as of this writing, to see where his head and his body's at, but it seems as though a time of reflection for Bakhtiari is essentially crunch time for Walker. We'll keep you posted, dear readers.