Packers unsure of when All-Pro LT David Bakhtiari will return from injury
Bakhtiari said it’s a “long road” back from the torn ACL he suffered before the Packers’ Week 17 win over the Chicago Bears last year.
“We’ll see when it ends,” Bakhtiari said Tuesday.
The Packers currently have Bakhtiari on the PUP list. If he remains there throughout training camp, he would be eligible to start the season on the list, which would mean missing at least six weeks. The Packers could also include him on the initial roster and place him immediately on injured reserve, potentially providing a three-week timeline to start the year.
Coach Matt LaFleur said the Packers will prepare as if Bakhtiari won’t be available for Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints.
“Until we know and have a better indication of when he’s going to be back here, I think that’s the way you have to prepare,” LaFleur said.
The favorite to start at left tackle without Bakhtiari is Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins, who has impressed at the position to start camp.
Bakhtiari did confirm there has been no setbacks in his recovery. At this point, rehab consists of strengthening leg muscles and making sure the graft of the knee is getting enough blood flow to properly heal.
While Bakhtiari is “itching” to get back, team doctors will not let him return to the field until he’s safe to play again.
Lacking a clear timetable on his return and considering the desire of the team to protect a valuable asset, the Packers may have to start the 2021 season without one of the game’s top pass blockers.
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