The two-time All Pro went down with a torn ACL in late December 2020, an injury that required multiple surgeries and sidelined Bakhtiari for essentially the entire 2021 campaign. The left tackle appeared in just one game last year, playing 27 snaps against the Detroit Lions in Week 18, then sat out the Packers’ playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Green Bay has been non-committal about whether or not Bakhtiari would be healthy enough to open the season against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, September 11. However, he was spotted along with fellow tackle Elgton Jenkins participating in practice Monday, per Tom Silverstein of the Milwuakee Journal Sentinel.
“Packers practice: Elgton Jenkins and David Bakhtiari doing individual drills today,” Silverstein tweeted. “WR Allen Lazard running off to the side.”
Rob Demovksy of ESPN reported on Monday that Bakhtiari has been participating in 11-on-11 drills since the end of training camp and that the three-time Pro Bowler said it is “realistic” that he will start against the Vikings six days from now.
“Yeah, I mean, I’m on the active [roster] just like anyone else,” Bakhtiari told Demovsky.
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Bakhtiari Expects to be Healthy For Entirety of Packers’ 2022 Season
Bakhtiari went on to offer an even more encouraging projection for the year when asked if he thought he could soldier through an entire game.
“I can get through the season. It’s going to be fine. You have to just manage while playing,” Bakhtiari said. “I’m just getting back in the swing of things. So, I mean, I think there’s normal rust and then new normal with three surgeries, so just kind of working that out and figuring out what my routine is.”
Jenkins is also attempting to rebound from an ACL tear that he suffered against the Vikings last November while serving as Bakhtiari’s replacement on the left edge of the offensive line. He is expected to start at right tackle when healthy.
The Packers removed Jenkins’ name from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list on August 14, though head coach Matt LaFleur remained non-committal on whether Jenkins would be ready in time for regular action against Minnesota this weekend.
“We’ll have to find out on Sunday,” LaFleur said.
Packers’ Wide Receiver Allen Lazard Sidelined by Undisclosed Injury
Other than Jenkins, the last injury question for the Packers ahead of the season opener pertains to presumed No. 1 wide receiver Allen Lazard — the only player on Green Bay’s offense who did not take part in regular practice work Monday, per Mike Spofford of Packers.com. Instead, Lazard engaged in individual rehabilitation activities.
Spofford referred to the nature of Lazard’s injury as “undisclosed,” as Green Bay is keeping the wideout’s health status close to the vest with Week 1 approaching. LaFleur was equally non-committal on Lazard’s status against the Vikings.
“I think Allen is doing better, but we’ll see as the week progresses where he’s at,” LaFleur said.
An official injury report including designations for Bakhtiari, Jenkins and Lazard is scheduled for Wednesday.