The Green Bay Packers got some ugly and unexpected news on the injury front on Thursday, as one of the team’s most critical players was held out of practice. Left tackle David Bakhtiari did not participate in Thursday’s session, a day after being listed as limited with a back issue.
Bakhtiari is the NFL’s reigning first-team All-Pro left tackle, and although his performance last week in Chicago was a bit poorer than his normal level of play, he remains an exceptional pass-blocker who protects Aaron Rodgers’ blind side. Suddenly, his status for the Packers’ week two game against the Minnesota Vikings is in doubt.
Head coach Matt LaFleur did little to ease Packers fans’ concerns after practice today, speaking only vaguely about Bakhtiari’s status. When asked if the tackle would suit up for the team’s final practice of the week on Friday, LaFleur only said “We will see tomorrow.”
If Bakhtiari is unable to play on Sunday, that would be a significant blow to the Packers’ line, particularly against the Vikings’ defensive end tandem of Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter. The most likely scenario would be for the Packers to insert undrafted second-year pro Alex Light into the lineup at left tackle. Light had a very good training camp, but the dropoff from Bakhtiari would likely be significant. If that would be the case, look for LaFleur to emphasize the run and quick passing games even more than he normally would.
Another concerning item on Thursday’s injury report was the appearance of second-year cornerback Jaire Alexander. He showed up as a limited participant, with a knee issue cited as the reason.
Here is the Packers’ complete injury report for Thursday.
Packers Injury Report
- OT Bryan Bulaga (not injury related)
- CB Josh Jackson (Achilles)
- C Corey Linsley (elbow)
- G Cole Madison (ankle)
- ILB Blake Martinez (shoulder)
- S Will Redmond (ankle)
- WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (shoulder)
- RB Jamaal Williams (shoulder)
- CB Tramon Williams (not injury related)
- CB Jaire Alexander (knee)
- TE Jimmy Graham (finger)
- CB Ka’Dar Hollman (neck)
- CB Kevin King (hamstring/chest)
Did Not Participate
- OT David Bakhtiari (back)
- ILB Oren Burks (chest)
- WR Darrius Shepherd (hamstring)