Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans. According to a team release, he didn’t travel with the team, remaining in Green Bay instead to rest. This will be the first time Bakhtiari has missed a game since 2017.
Bakhtiari left the Packers’ 38-10 loss to the Buccaneers last week with a chest injury and didn’t practice at all this week. Veteran Rick Wagner, a free agent signing this offseason, played in his place and seems likely to get the start this week, though Packers head coach Matt LaFleur has said repeatedly this year that his goal is to get the best five linemen on the field.
If LaFleur decides Wagner is not one of those five, the Packers do have other options, though they could demand a significant reshuffling at other positions, too.
Elgton Jenkins could step out to left tackle, leaving rookie Jon Runyan at left guard. Jenkins has played some left tackle before (though not in the NFL) and started at right tackle earlier this year. If the Packers don’t want to go that direction, they could put Billy Turner at left tackle and start Wagner or Jenkins on the right side, slotting in Runyan at left guard if they go with Jenkins.
Or, in the longest shot of all, they could give massive second-year man Yosh Nijman his first real reps at tackle. So far, Nijman has played just five garbage time snaps on offense, but the Packers don’t have him on the active roster just because he’s a nice guy to be around. Sooner or later, he may have to play real snaps. That could be Sunday.