Packers All-Pro’s Status Uncertain Against 49ers, Starting WR Doubtful

Green Bay Packers

Getty The Green Bay Packers offensive lines up against the Baltimore Ravens for a second half field goal at M&T Bank Stadium on December 19, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The Green Bay Packers are getting healthier on offense, but big question marks remain two days ahead of the team’s playoff opener against the San Francisco 49ers.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur met with reporters on January 20 to update the statuses of two key members of the Green Bay offense. Ari Meirov, who covers the NFL for Pro Football Focus, tweeted the details of that media session Thursday.

“#Packers HC Matt LaFleur said LT David Bakhtiari (knee) is questionable and WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (back) is doubtful for Saturday’s game vs. San Francisco,” Meirov wrote.

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Packers’ Decision to Play Starters in Week 18 Comes Back to Haunt Team

Green Bay made a decision to roll its starters out onto the field Week 18 against the Detroit Lions. As it turns out, it’s a choice that will likely hamper the Packers in the playoffs moving forward, at least this weekend.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers targeted wideout Marquez Valdes-Scantling (MVS) only once against the Lions, but it was enough to saddle the pass catcher with a back injury. The severity of the issue was not immediately known, though MVS left the game and did not return. LaFleur’s update Thursday appears to all but seal the wide receiver’s fate for the Packers’ postseason premiere.

How much do the Packers benefit from extra days off against banged up 49ers?PFF's Doug Kyed talks with Heavy's Stephanie Otey to preview the NFL Playoffs. #Packers #49ers #NFL #Playoffs2022-01-22T00:59:51Z

The back injury is the latest blow to MVS’s season, who missed six of 17 games throughout the regular season. Valdes-Scantling went down with a hamstring in Week 3, the last time the Packers squared off against the Niners. That injury cost the wideout five games. MVS later missed the Packers’ matchup with the Cleveland Browns on Christmas Day after he was sent to the reserve/COVID-19 list.

The injury news hasn’t been all bad for the Packers’ wide receiver group as of late. LaFleur also announced this week that wide receiver Randall Cobb is likely to take the field against the Niners Saturday.

“Cobby’s coming along great,” the head coach told the media Wednesday. “He looks good at practice, so I would anticipate him playing in this game.”

Cobb, a favorite of Rodgers who Green Bay signed at the quarterback’s behest, has not played since suffering a core muscle injury on November 28 when the Packers hosted the Los Angeles Rams. The wide receiver underwent surgery to address the injury December. His progress since then has put him on track to play again right as the Packers are going to need him most.

Packers All-Pro Left Tackle Bakhtiari Saw First Action in Week 18

David Bakhtiari knee

GettyGreen Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari is listed as questionable for the team’s Divisional Round playoff matchup with the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday, January 22, 2021.

Bakhtiari’s health status falls somewhere between those of MVS and Cobb. The two-time All-Pro left tackle remains questionable approximately 48 hours before the Packers take the field at Lambeau to try and earn a third consecutive trip to the NFC Championship Game.

After suffering a torn ACL last season, Bakhtiari missed nearly all of 2021 as he attempted to rehab his way back onto the active roster. The lineman saw his first action of the year Week 18 against the Lions, playing in 40% of the offensive snaps.

Joining him in the lineup that game was rookie center Josh Myers, who missed 11 weeks of the regular season after a knee injury he sustained against the Chicago Bears required surgery to fix. Myers returned from the injured reserve list (IR) on Sunday, January 9 against Detroit, playing 47% of the available offensive snaps in that game.

Green Bay also activated starting right guard Lucas Patrick off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday of this week. Patrick, who filled in at center for the absent Myers for much of this season, is expected to move back to the right side of the offensive line Saturday against the 49ers.

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